In the city of Thessalonica, questions arose about what happens when a person dies before Christ returns. To answer this question Paul explains what will happen at the return of Christ for His Church.

And I do not desire that you are ignorant, brethren, concerning the ones having fallen asleep, in order that you are not grieved just as also the grievers, the ones not having hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose, thus also the God will bring with Him the ones having fallen asleep through Jesus Christ. For this we say to you by a word of the Lord, that we, the ones living, the ones remaining unto the coming of the Lord, will never precede the ones having fallen asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-15).

We will not precede them because when our Lord comes the dead in Christ will rise first and we who are alive will be caught up together with them to meet Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

In Paul’s next letter to the saints of Thessalonica, he explains the timing of the day of the Lord, which is our gathering together with Him (2 Thessalonians 2:1). It happens before the man of lawlessness is revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Since the signing of the peace covenant with Israel and the beast (Man of lawlessness) begins the tribulation period (Daniel 9:27), and the Church will be removed from the earth before the man of lawlessness is revealed, Scripture is clear that we will not go through the Tribulation. In addition, we of the Church are not appointed unto any wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Therefore, we are not to be looking at the tribulation period and allowing it to cause us grief, but the happy hope that is the return of our Lord for His Church.

It is God’s grace that child-trains us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live having a saved frame of mind and righteously and godly in this present malignantly evil age, while we look for the happy hope of the appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:11-13).

Let us keep this in mind as we go through the day. Christ will return and He will take His Church from the earth before the Tribulation period for through Him we have been saved from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9). So let us live today as if we are going to meet Him today, for the night is well spent, the day is at hand (Romans 13:12), and the day of our salvation is nearer than when we believed (Romans 13:11).

Perhaps Today!