Daily Devotionals

The End Week 1: Thursday

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 1 Thessalonians 4:16

Throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus made it clear that He would return one day at the end times. He wanted His followers to know that one day, He would come back and make things right as the King of Kings. He also made sure that His followers knew that He is taking each one of them with Him so that they will not have to live a life apart from Him. Later on, in Scripture, we learn more details about what this return will look like and how Christ will return for all of His followers. 

God revealed the truth about the end times to the Apostle Paul, who wrote about these things in 1 Thessalonians 4. He explained that Jesus would return one day and that when He returns, believers who have previously died will rise first (verse 14). Next, he explained that “the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.” (verse 16). This will certainly be no small moment. This will be a victorious return. Paul continued by saying, “First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves” (verse 16). These are all followers of Christ who have previously died. To be clear, it is their bodies that will rise. Their souls have already been with the Lord.

Can you imagine the moment it will be when Jesus returns and all of the bodies of believers who have passed away will rise? This will include spiritual leaders like Paul himself, Peter and the rest of the disciples, Ruth, Esther, our heroes who have led us in our faith walks with Christ and many more. All of these people played a profound role in carrying out God’s message of hope and salvation in Jesus to the watching world. What an incredible day that will be!

Moving toward action

As we think about the truth that Christ will come and that the bodies of Christ’s followers who have already passed away will rise first, it is a good time to think about those who have come before us. Who has set an example for you in your faith, whether they are still living or have already passed on into eternity? How did they set an example for you? What have they done that you want to mimic when it comes to faith? Next, pray. Thank God for these people. Thank Him for those who have come before you in faith and for the example they have been for you in your life.

Going Deeper

1 Thessalonians 4:1-16 (NLT)

"As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first."