But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 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. Therefore encourage one another with these words.1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
I saw the post above from David Crowder earlier today. While time and space do exist, I understand his sentiment here. So, during this period between Christmas and New Year’s Day, one thing I focus on is to consider what may (or may not) take place in the coming new year.
Why? For followers of Christ, there is no greater hope than the literal, physical return of Christ. When Jesus ascended, “two men stood by them (the disciples) in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1: 10,11).
Paul anticipated Christ’s return in his own day and described for the Thessalonians (and us) how those things would take place so that the people of his day would be both informed (v.13) and encouraged (v.18).
The same life lesson is available for us. We can read Scripture and be informed and encouraged. We don’t know what 2022 will bring, but there is hope for those who put their confidence in Christ.