1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 – 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
You’ve heard the question posed in various forms before. “If you could go to heaven and all of your loved ones were there but Jesus was not, would you still want to go?” This question is thought provoking because it forces us to consider what is the treasure of our lives. You can substitute your loved ones and insert perfect health, sinlessness, knowledge and wisdom, wealth, or anything else in the world and get the same results. Ultimately, this simple question isn’t as simple as it appears. For if Heaven doesn’t have Jesus, it isn’t Heaven—it’s hell.
The encouragement that Paul tells the Thessalonians to give each other isn’t merely that they will be caught up together in the clouds and be separated from the destruction and sinfulness on the earth. That isn’t encouragement. The encouragement is that they will meet the Lord in the air and always be with the Lord. He is the goal! He is the treasure! He is the prize! The end of suffering is a blessing that comes from receiving our true treasure—eternity in the presence of our King.
3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
Something to think about…
If you could go to heaven and all of your loved ones were there but Jesus was not, would you still want to go?