«For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first»
(l Thessalonians 4:16).
GRACIELA WAS PART of our evangelistic team. She worked as a dedicated and efficient Bible instructor, passionate about the salvation of people and the return of Jesus.
One day, her father went to his rest in the Lord. She herself had to explain as a mother to her five-year-old son about his grandfather’s death. She did it this way: «Grandpa went to sleep. We’re are going to put him in a box and keep it in the garden.» The boy immediately asked, «And when is he going to wake up?» Swallowing hard, Graciela replied, «He will wake up when Jesus comes.» Enthusiastically, the boy shouted,
«Then I will pray that Jesus comes this afternoon!»
And what about you? Are you praying that Jesus will come this afternoon? Are you getting ready? Are you preparing others and working for the soon return of Jesus?
Life here is shrouded in tears. Every day we spill them. Sometimes, they’re visible. Other times they are disguised. Undoubtedly the heaviest tears are the ones shed by the loss of a being we love.
I remember the first burial I had to perform as a pastor. A mother was mourning the untimely death of her thirty-two-year-old son. She asked me if she had to bury her son with rubber heels. I had never been asked such a question before. In the midst of her pain, and with respect, I asked why. She said, «So that when his soul rises to do penance, he may walk in silence, that way the devil will not bother him.» With tenderness I explained the biblical message of an unconscious rest for those who die, until the morning of the resurrection.
The enemy has mixed the truth with lies, to generate more confusion and separation from God. Several times I went to the cemetery for family members, brothers in the faith, dear friends, and even unbelievers. There are tears for all of them, but the cry of the believer is different. The dead in Christ will be resurrected first, Paul said (see I Thess. 4:13—16). «He who believes in Me, though he dies, he will live,» affirmed Jesus (John 11:25).
«Oh, how glorious it will be to see Him and be welcomed as His redeemed ones! Long have we waited, but our hope is not to grow dim. If we can but see the King in His beauty we shall be forever blessed» (Testimony Treasures, vol. 3, p. 257).
Let us live as if the Lord will return this afternoon!