1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.
Some years ago, Peggy Lee sang a song whose chorus goes like this: "Is that all there is, is that all there is? If that's all there is, my friends, the let's keep dancing; let's break out the booze and have a ball--if that's all there is." But I've got good news!!! That's not all there is! There is more to this thing we call life that just what we see--a whole lot more. 1 Corinthians 15 says more about this: If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. We've read the end of this story and we know how it ends! All that is not of God is swallowed up so that all that is of God will live forever with Him who is Lord of all.
And so, we remind ourselves how we are to live. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. . . . For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. . . We live by faith, not by sight. . . So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10).
One thing about this life that we do see that we can take comfort in--it is subject to change. And that can be very good! There is hope in what we see. It's not over yet. God is still working. And as He does, let us be encouraged to live in view of eternity. There is much discussion in the theological world concerning the end times, the rapture we read about in our passage today, and the time of tribulation. Some call themselves pre-trib, some mid-trib, and some post-trib regarding when they believe this rapture will take place. I don't fully understand it all. I have my "leanings." But the important thing is to live in such a way that we are ready whenever it happens.