“He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him” (1 Thessalonians 5:10 NIV)
With the promise of the second coming of the Lord and all of the speculation as to when that will happen, we who have a relationship with Him and understand His Word, know when He comes is of no great consequence. Whether we are alive or dead–when He comes–we are assured of our living with Him for all eternity.
We have heard that Jesus is coming back for hundreds of years and He has not made it yet. The delay in His return should not be our concern. If we know we have received Him as our Lord and Savior and we are obedient to His Word, whenever He comes back, He will receive us unto Himself. This delay (or at least this seeming delay) has given the scoffers fuel to add to their derision of our faith. The delay has also caused some–who claim to know the Savior–to err in their need to proclaim exact dates as to when He will return. One group of people has said in their doctrine that He has already returned (my response to them was since I had not seen any dead people walking around, I’ll keep waiting).
What the speculators and scoffers have missed is understanding of The Word. In this passage of scripture we see that the Lord will return as a thief in the night. Not many thieves will “announce” their coming in advance. Jesus has said that “But about that day no man knows the day or hour, not the angels in heaven, and not even the Son,only The Father” (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32) And my personal favorite is this one–“With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day” (2 Peter 3:8).
So, take comfort with this final thought. Jesus will return, whether we are asleep in the grave or alive, and it will not matter to Him because “the dead shall rise and those who are living will be caught up in the clouds and meet Him in the air, to be with Him forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17 NIV).
Lord Jesus, whenever You return, we await that day with great expectations of living for all eternity with You.