While pastoring Bethel Baptist Church in Norman, Oklahoma for 11 yrs.
I also conducted worship services at 2 (and sometimes 3) Rest Homes.
A layman from the church, Bill Hartman, helped me some of the time.
At Rosewood Rest Home, a young lady loved to park her wheelchair right in front of me while I led the music.
When I would ask for their favorite hymns, she would always say (as best she could) "Number 503".
The title of the hymn on that page was 'When The Roll is Called Up Yonder':
'When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks eternal bright and fair.
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there.
On that bright and cloudless morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glory of His resurrection share.
When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there.'
(Words and music by James M. Black)
The word 'trumpet' is used 60 times in the Bible.
It was used to declare war as well as to announce special events.
There was even a 'Feast of the Trumpets'.
It was used at other times to gather the people for long journeys.
For example in Numbers 10, the trumpet was used for the trip from Sinai to Paran.
In Joshua 6:5 & 20, trumpets were used when Jericho's wall came down.
1) 'BEFORE THE TRUMPET SOUNDS': (I Thess. 4:13-15)
"I do not want you to be ignorant brethren concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus, for this we say to you by the word of the Lord that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep."
a) You do not have to be ignorant....and the worst ignorance is 'ignore-ance'.
A man was asked:
Don't you believe the problem with Christians/Churches today is ignorance and apathy?
He responded, "I don't know and I don't care!"
Some Christians may be like that today.
We need NOT be, for the Holy Spirit is here to illumine our minds ...
and to inspire our motivations and responses.
There are 3 ignorances of which we must be aware and they are:
The Book..The Blood..and The Blessed Hope.
The BOOK is settled in Heaven and needs to be settled in our minds and hearts,
as our guide to attitudes and actions.
The BLOOD of JESUS is sufficient to cleanse us from all sin and cause us to be clean vessels for His Holy Spirit to channel blessings through us to a world in need.
The BLESSED HOPE is mentioned over 100 times in the New Testament.
It can bring so much hope in life and in death.
Please read and learn about these 3 B's.....
Remember, he who DOES NOT read, is no better off than he who CAN NOT read.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste and not reading the Bible is the worst of all wastes!
b) You do not have to be without hope!
We do not have to sorrow as those who have no hope...
for hope is to our life what breath is to our lungs.
The key word to your spiritual life and claiming these promises, is the word 'BELIEVE'.
Sorrow with hope certainly beats sorrow without hope!
"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness".
Jesus' promise in John 14:1-3 is backed up with His death and resurrection.
c) You do not have to worry about your saved loved ones. (Verse 14)
Paul uses the term 'asleep in Jesus' which sounds good enough for me!
The important thing is to be ready....for ready or not, Jesus is coming back!
(See website article: 6-25-05)
In that paper, I said: "Jesus is coming...
it's Scriptural, Supernatural and will be Sudden...and Soon!"
Of course we Christians are not on the 'Time and Place Committee'...
but we ARE on the 'Preparation Committee'!
2) "WHEN THE TRUMPET SOUNDS": (Verses 16-17)
"For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel and with the Trumpet of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air....and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
The words 'caught up' are from the Latin 'rapto' from whence we get the word 'rapture'.
It means 'to seize' or 'carry off' or to 'catch away speedily'...
as in Acts 8:39 when Philip was 'caught away'.
I hope that you like I, agree that Jesus not only saves, but He gives us the assurance that we ARE saved and secures us now and forever!
John 10 is a great chapter about the relationship of Jesus the Shepherd...
with us, the sheep.
"We are in the hands of God and no thing or no one can pluck us out of His hand."
In II Timothy 4 (perhaps Paul's last message that we have), he wrote:
"I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith, and the time of my departure is near."
The word 'departure' here means:
a) 'I'm moving to a better place'. Jesus promised this in John 14:1-3
b) It will be like a boat leaving shore for a better place.
c) Like a prisoner being released to freedom. (II Cor. 4:16- 5:8)
This reminds me of an old missionary couple who were returning to the United States after years of sacrificial service. When the ship docked, the bands were playing and people were cheering. However, it was not for them, but rather for President Theodore Roosevelt who was returning from a hunting safari.
The old missionary was sad that no one was there to meet them, but later at the hotel, he was reminded by God, "Old missionary, you're not home yet!"
Likewise, we are not home yet!
We were not at Jesus' birth, crucifixion nor His resurrection...
but we WILL be at His Coming!
Will YOU be there? We can all be sure.....
see the Roman Road to Salvation: Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:8-13.
"Wherefore comfort one another with these words...
'We all can be comforters, for we have been comforted.'
We must be like a trumpet, warning the people...
and letting them know where they can find comfort for now....and for Eternity.
There is a warning for us in I Corinthians 14:8:
"If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare for the battle?"
Make sure that your life gives a certain sound concerning Jesus and His Return.
A song that La Moyne and I learned in our younger days, is entitled 'One Day':
"One day the trumpet will sound for His coming...
One day the skies with His glories will shine.
Wonderful day, my beloved One bringing,
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!
Living, He loved me....
Dying, He saved me...
Buried, He carried my sins far away.
Rising, He justified,
One day, He's coming...
O glorious day!"
(Words by J.Wilbur Chapman and music by Charles H. Marsh)
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