My friends, we want you to understand how it will be for those followers who have already died. Then you won’t grieve over them and be like people who don’t have any hope. We believe that Jesus died and was raised to life. We also believe that when God brings Jesus back again, he will bring with him all who had faith in Jesus before they died. Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won’t go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died.
With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. Encourage each other with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
As we thank God for another day on this planet, it sometimes brings to mind those who are no longer with us here. Some people mourn the loss of a loved one as if they are blessed with something greater than the person who died. Believers in Jesus Christ can turn this sorrow into joy because as we wallow, work and wait in this world, the believers who have passed are safely resting in His care. According to God's Word, those who believe should all be waiting for Jesus to come back and those who have died will actually meet the Lord first! That is a call to rejoice not a reason to grieve.
The everlasting life we anticipate does not exist in the lives we now experience. When Jesus returns, He's coming to establish God's Kingdom where there will be no more pain, suffering or death. Our belief and faith in Him gives us the hope we can have now and look forward to in the future He has promised to all who follow Him. Be encouraged because Jesus promises us a family reunion unlike any this world has ever known and it will go on forever! Hallelujah!
From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever.