Welcome home

Welcome home

But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” – Acts 7:55-56

1 Thessalonians 4:14-17

 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

 15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.

 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.

 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

The Regata Storica started in 1489, when the beautiful Caterina Cornato, wife of the King of Cyprus, renounced her Cypriot throne in favor of Venice. The people of Venice welcomed her with a parade of ornately-decorated gondolas in their world-famous canals. Every year since 1489, on September 1, the Regata Storica is celebrated with a parade, a kaleidoscope of charming, multicolored boats.

Regata Storica is one of the most spectacular, picturesque and moving events of Venetian life. It represents the essence of Venice.

The first Regata Storica was a royal welcome indeed.

Each child of the King will receive a royal welcome home.

REFLECT & PRAY

A royal welcome awaits all children of the King. We will finally be home with the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ forever.

Father thank You that You have laid out the welcome mat for all of Your children in front of the entrance to our home in heaven. Thank You that we are part of Your forever family.

INSIGHT

The Scriptures make it explicitly clear that when the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, He sat down at the right hand of God. Being seated next to the Father, by His right hand, is the place of highest honor. The Lord Jesus Christ had accomplished all that He had come to earth to do. He reconciled the human race to the Father and made redemption possible. That is now His rightful place for all eternity.

Hebrews 1:13 And God never said to any of the angels, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”

Mark 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

Why does Stephen see the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, standing rather than sitting?

Acts 7:55-56

 55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;

 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Stones will soon be hurled at him and Stephen is about to become this first Christian martyr. The Lord Jesus Christ stood to honor and welcome him. He was coming home. Stephen received the most royal of all welcomes from the King of Kings and Lord of lords. What an honor and privilege!

One of the greatest promises of the Lord Jesus Christ is that one day He would return from heaven, alive, and gather all who have believed in Him to Himself. All of the Father’s children would be united for all time. We will be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

But this raises the logical question. The promise was made almost 2000 years ago. Untold myriads of the Father’s children have believed, lived out their lives, and died. At the same time, many of His children will be at the time of the Lord Jesus Christ’s return. Are those who have died at any disadvantage to those that remain alive? How are the dead and the living children of the King going to get together?

Paul answers this question for us.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-17

 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

 15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.

 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.

 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

Apparently, the Thessalonians had a misunderstanding concerning those believers that have already died. They expected to be alive in Christ returned. So the burning issue concerned those that have already died been buried and possibly disintegrated in the earth or seas. Would they be left behind? The gathering together of all of the Father’s children, those that have died and those who remain alive, will occur all at once at the time of the Second Coming. They will all be welcomed home together. Those who have already died, will be miraculously retrieved atom by atom from wherever they may be. They too will receive the most royal of all welcomes from the King of Kings and Lord of lords.

In this world, children of the King are not really welcome. We are merely passing through. This world is not our home. When we all go to our eternal home, a delightful and wonderful welcome is waiting for us.

We are to encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

The picture Paul draws of the day when Christ will come is poetry, an attempt to describe what is indescribable. At the second coming, Christ will descend from heaven to earth. He will utter the word of command, and thereupon the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God will awaken the dead; then both the dead and the living will be caught up in the chariots of the clouds to meet Christ; and thereafter they will be forever with their Lord (Barclay).

The second coming of Christ will be awesome, incredible and beyond words. It will be more amazing than any of the biblical epics that Hollywood has ever produced. The setting, lighting, and sound effects will be literally out of this world.

One day all of His children, will hear delightful, loving words of welcome. They undoubtedly will be similar to well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful . . . Enter into the joy of Your Master. Let’s celebrate together! – (Matthew 25:23 )

An eternal celebration with the King of Kings and Lord of lords, awesome!

with the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ forever.

Father thank You that in front of the gates of heaven, You have laid out the welcome mat for all of Your children.

INSIGHT

The Scriptures make it explicitly clear that when the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, He sat down at the right hand of God. Being seated next to the Father, by His right hand, is the place of highest honor. The Lord Jesus Christ had accomplished all that He had come to earth to do. He reconciled the human race to the Father and made redemption possible. That is now His rightful place for all eternity.

Hebrews 1:13 And God never said to any of the angels, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”

Mark 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

Why does Stephen see the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, standing rather than sitting?

Acts 7:55-56

 55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;

 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

Very soon stones will be hurled at him. Stephen is about to become this first Christian martyr. The Lord Jesus Christ stood to honor and welcome him. He was coming home. Stephen received the most royal of all welcomes from the King of Kings and Lord of lords. What an honor and privilege!

One of the great, great promises of the Lord Jesus Christ is that one day He would return from heaven, alive, and gather all who have believed in Him to Himself. All of the Father’s children would be united for all time. We will be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

But this raises the logical question. The promise was made almost 2000 years ago. Untold myriads of the Father’s children have believed, lived out their lives, and died. At the same time, many of His children will be at the time of the Lord Jesus Christ’s return. Are those who have died at any disadvantage to those that remain alive? How are the dead and the living children of the King going to get together?

Paul answers this question for us.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-17

 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

 15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.

 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.

 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

Apparently, the Thessalonians had a misunderstanding concerning those believers that have already died. They expected to be alive in Christ returned. So the burning issue concerned those that have already died been buried and possibly disintegrated in the earth or seas. Would they be left behind? The gathering together of all of the Father’s children, those that have died and those who remain alive, will occur all at once at the time of the Second Coming. They will all be welcomed home together. Those who have already died, will be miraculously retrieved atom by atom from wherever they may be. They too will receive the most royal of all welcomes from the King of Kings and Lord of lords.

In this world, children of the King are not really welcome. We are merely passing through. This world is not our home. When we all go to our eternal home, a delightful and wonderful welcome is waiting for us.

We are to encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

The picture Paul paints of the day when Christ will come is poetry, an attempt to describe what is indescribable. At the second coming, Christ will descend from heaven to earth. He will utter the word of command, and thereupon the voice of an archangel and the trumpet of God will awaken the dead; then both the dead and the living will be caught up in the chariots of the clouds to meet Christ; and thereafter they will be forever with their Lord (Barclay).

The second coming of Christ will be awesome and incredible and beyond words. It will be more amazing than any of the biblical epics that Hollywood has ever produced. The setting, lighting, and sound effects will be literally out of this world.

One day all of His children, will hear welcoming and delightful words. They undoubtedly will be similar to well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful . . . Enter into the joy of Your Master. Let’s celebrate together! – (Matthew 25:23 )

An eternal celebration with the King of Kings and Lord of lords, awesome!

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