The Power of the Resurrection
by Bro. Ken
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians concerning the hope of the Resurrection. "I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow to attain to the resurrection from the dead."--Philippians 3:10-11.
The great hope in every Christian's heart is to attain to the resurrection of the dead. The belief that someday the dead in Christ will rise again is to me the deepest and most exciting event one can look forward too. Can you imagine what this will mean to us who belong to Christ?
In John's gospel we have some insight into this glories event. Martha's brother Lazarus had died, Jesus arrived at their home four days later met by Martha with these words, "Jesus, if you had been here my brother would not have died." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Note the timing of the Resurrection - it will be at the last day.
It is firmly held by most students of prophecy that the catching away of the church (Rapture) will occur at the same time as the resurrection of the dead. Read with me these words found in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. "According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words."
The catching away of the church (Rapture) takes place on the last day, the same time as the resurrection of the dead. The Greek word, (ESCHATOS-LAST) means utmost, extreme and is used in these passages. This should tell us that the event of the resurrection of the dead and the catching away of the church takes place at the utmost, extreme, last of days. When Jesus was answering the question of the disciples concerning the sign of His coming and the end of the age, He answered them with these words, "Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven and the heavenly bodies will be shaken." At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the sky." Matthew 34:29-30. If you read the text found in Matthew 24:4-28, you will see the events that must occur before the end of the age or the last day. This should tell us that we are going to face some very difficult times before the coming of the Lord; his ushering in the resurrection of the dead and the catching away of the church.
Therefore let us not become so involved in this world that we miss the world yet to come. Let us remember that these bodies are wearing out and getting old, they will die. But our great hope of expectance is that not very long from now, there is going to be a great resurrection and a catching away of the church. Let us join with the Apostle Paul in His prayer that we too might die to our selfishness, becoming like Christ in death, that we too could attain to the resurrection of the dead, or even be those very ones who will be caught up with them in the air, and forever be with the Lord.