Scripture Reading: I Thessalonians 4:13-18

“Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with Him in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (I Thessalonians 4:17-18)

We know that the dead in Christ will come back with the Lord at His second coming. Their resurrected bodies will be united with their eternal souls. These resurrected saints will come in the clouds with Jesus when He returns to earth. But what will happen to those who are alive on earth when Christ returns? Our passage today answers that question.

Those who are alive will be “caught up together” with the resurrected saints to meet the Lord in the air. The Greek word that is translated “caught up” means “to grab, to seize suddenly, to snatch, to take away.” The saints who are left on earth will be snatched up suddenly and taken into the clouds.

The clouds at the second coming of Christ are no ordinary rain clouds. They are the clouds of glory that surround the presence of God. They are the same clouds that descended upon the tabernacle and the temple. They are the clouds of the Shekinah glory of God. The resurrected saints and the saints still alive on earth will be drawn into the glory of God, the glory Moses longed to see (Exodus 33:18) –“Please show me Your glory!”

In the clouds of glory we will meet the Lord. The Greek word translated “meet” is often used of an important dignitary’s reception by the inhabitants of a city. In this case, we will meet the King of kings and the Lord of lords! What a reception that will be!

This happens in the air as the new heavens and new earth are being prepared. Then we will all be with the Lord forever in the new creation. It is easy to understand why Paul concluded this passage the way he does — “Therefore encourage each other with these words” (v. 18).

Lord Jesus, it is so encouraging to know what will happen when You return to earth again. If I am still alive when you return, I will meet You in the clouds of glory along with the other saints who remain on earth. We will join the host of those who are already with you in heaven. Thank You for making it possible for me to be among Your people. Thank You that I will always be with You.



  1. Rick Nash says:

    Greetings and may our Lord continue to bless you. As a note of thanks for your dedication to this post your old Rock Hill barber jerry and I would like to treat you to lunch on a Monday in March or April sometime. Let me know if we can bless you this way. Of course my email is To refresh your memory I’m rick nash and was is one of the last deacon classes at WPC with you and we ran into you at your zoo a few years ago.

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