Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Family Reunion (06/05/08)
- TITLE: The Reunion In The Clouds
By Doug Laird
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There will not be one family member absent, and all will truly be glad to find themselves there! All travel arrangements and housing accommodations have been paid in full. It will not involve any airliners, but it will be in the air.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of he archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead” [presently in interim bodies in Heaven] “will rise [in resurrected bodies] “in Christ first. Then those who are alive and remain” [here on earth at the time] “will be caught up together with them in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord (1Thessalonians 4: 16, 17 NASB).”
Believers are born into two types of families. The first family involves a physical birth that we have no say in. The second involves a spiritual birth as a result of a conscious decision that we choose to make.
Our first family is determined by blood and/or marriage. Our biological parents may or may not have planned to have a baby when they produced a fetus, but it is God who creates and imputes the real “us”, that is the soul, at birth (Gen. 2: 7).
It is neither our parents, nor we, but God who determines the timing and circumstances of our birth (John 3: 6) in accordance with His plan and for His glory.
God could have placed the real us, our soul, in any body at any time in the past, present, or future generations of Man. This “blood” family is extended to non-blood relations via marriage.
Our second family is determined by a spiritual relationship we have with God and should also have with every member of what the Bible (1Pet. 2: 9 NASB) calls the “royal priesthood”.
We are born into this family as a result of being born (again) spiritually (John 3: 3).
“Whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and Mother (Matthew 12: 50 NASB).”
Discipleship requires that life in our spiritual family be given a higher place of priority than our natural family (Luke 14: 26). This does not mean that we are to neglect our roles (Eph. 5: 24, 25/Eph 6: 1, 4) in the earthly family structure that God has designed, or fail to provide for their temporal needs (1Tim.5: 8).
Not every member of our natural family is necessarily a member of our spiritual family (Matthew 10: 35). The family reunion that is spoken of in 1Thessalonians 4: 17 is speaking of our spiritual family.
God designed the natural family unit for this lifetime, but our spiritual family will continue on for all of eternity.
Life in our spiritual family is not designed to be something that we only focus on Sunday mornings or when we gather together for worship. This family has no racial, gender, age, or national lines of division.
Just as we have a daily role and position in the temporal family unit, we have one in the spiritual family as well (1Cor. 12: 11). This role is not for our personal advancement or satisfaction, but for the benefit of the family at large (1Cor. 12: 7).
One of the greatest things about the spiritual family reunion that is to take place in the air is what will NOT be there.
I am referring to the absence of our sin nature that is the source of all divisions, hard feelings, prejudices, lack of forgiveness, judging, envying, jealousy, etc.
Such things are diminished in the interest of the occasion(s), but resurface as soon as family get-togethers here on earth are over with and the guests go their separate ways.
The sin nature is left behind when we depart these bodies at death (Romans 7, or are transformed at the twinkling of an eye, if we are among those who are here on earth at the Day of the Rapture (1Cor. 15: 51, 52).
It will be great hear “nice to see you” and know that such greetings are mutually given and received with sincerity.
It will be the first outdoor reunion where the weather will not be a factor since we will be on the other side of clouds where the Son always shines and where divisive bygones are finally gone for good!
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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