That Wonderful Moment
The minutest division of time can be defined as a “moment”! How many moments have passed in human history is incalculable to us, yet in our lives there have been moments of importance. Some have been moments of eager expectation with the anticipation of an event perhaps being greater than the event itself! However, there is one prospective moment before the Christian which will be the greatest experienced and without disappointment, filled with great surprise! It will not be of any transitory character for it will usher us into eternal ages of glory! This special “moment” is in God’s Word declared by the Holy Spirit, through His servant the Apostle Paul:
“Behold, I shew you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).
It Is A Moment of Anticipation
The promise was given by our Saviour in John 14:3. Later it was confirmed by angels in Acts 1:11. Then it was taught in all the epistles by God’s servants. The anticipation of the Lord’s return has been an unfailing source of encouragement to saints thru the Christian age. It has comforted millions who were looking for Him! The moment of it is so near! Perhaps today! In the midst of trials, sufferings, sorrows, pain, sickness and even our failures, we are crying with greater longing and anticipation, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”
It Is A Moment of Transformation
Blessed transformation it will be! In that moment “the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed”. With eternal bodies of incorruptible glory the saints shall rise from their graves “in incorruption.” They will be raised “in glory”; and “in power”; with “a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44).
The living saints “shall be changed” at that “moment” for “we shall not all sleep.” Many saints will be living when the Saviour comes. What an experience they will have as “this mortal puts on immortality” in that indivisible element of time “a moment!” In this connection it is significant that the Holy Spirit uses a Greek word for this occasion: the word atomos. It means that only “an atom of time” is required for God to work this tremendous transformation. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines it as follows: “that cannot be cut in two, or divided, indivisible.” What a moment! Are we anticipating this great transformation by saying, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus?”
It Is A Moment of Translation
“By faith Enoch was translated” we read in Hebrews 11, verse 5. From earth to heaven he traveled; also Elijah did the same (2 Kings 2:11). What an unusual experience for these two men, yet for them it was a solitary journey. Not so for us, as there will be an exodus of millions of saints who will fill the skies above when the glorious rapture occurs. Multitudes from the graves and others from the earth will rise together for that upward journey from earth to heaven! An incomparable travel plan! A dual anthem will be their note of praise as they rise; one section singing, “O death where is thy sting?” and the other will sing, “O grave where is thy victory?” What a translation it will be! With no other qualification than being “in Christ” this great exodus of saints will leave the earth! “The dead in Christ shall rise first and we which are alive and remain (also in Christ)” will leave this world of sin and darkness to travel up and up, to meet our Lord “in the air” and enter the glory of heaven above with Him! A multitude of happy saints will travel home together! Does your heart and mine thrill for that wonderful moment by saying with sincerity, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus?”
It Is A Moment of Unification
In His great priestly prayer to the Father, our Lord prayed for His own, saying, “That they all may be one” (John 17:21). The oneness of all His People was on His great heart, but we confess this was only manifested in the early days of His church. It soon faded away, unfortunately, as the failure of men and the power of Satan divided the church. Will it again be unified? Can men do it? Never! Present ecumenical efforts will end in complete failure!
There is but one certain way that the unification of the Church will be finally accomplished and when it happens it will be done “in a moment” Praise the Lord! The moment the Lord comes for His own “we shall be caught up together!” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Not one saint will be missing! What tragic mistake when some think so! They will be pleasantly disappointed! There are some believers who may now refuse to be found with some saints upon the earth today, but in that moment of translation will find themselves included with the great company together! They should not be disappointed then and may it be they will not be embarrassed either! Yet, other saints today neglect the exhortation of Hebrews 10:25, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is.” They may be careless and indifferent about being at the meeting of the saints on the earth, to their shame; but when the rapture comes they will find themselves present at “The meeting in the air!” Fellow Christians, we shall all be there! Do our hearts yearn for that blessed unification of God’s people in its precious oneness? Do we desire to see the saints united together in perfect testimony? If so, let us sincerely pray, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus”.
It Is A Moment of Glorification
Do we consider what glory this moment is going to be for our beloved Lord, when He will present His Church “to Himself a glorious Church not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). What a moment this will be for Him! and what a moment for us! What a day of glorification it will be!
First, our Lord will look upon His glorified Bride, His “pearl of great price” (Matthew 13:45), and be satisfied with her beauty. She then will be the perfect object of His eternal affections. Second, we shall look upon Him, on His face of inexpressible love and glory and we shall be “like Him” for ever (1 John 3:2). We shall also be for ever “with Him” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). We shall for ever “see Him” (1 John 3:2). What a moment of glorification for us when at last we “shall see His face” (Revelation 22:4).
Can you name a more wonderful moment? Is there a better prospect than this in the believer’s future? Does it not make the believer’s heart yearningly cry out, Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)? Beloved, that wonderful moment is near! Think of its glory and say with the poet:
“And is it so — I shall be like Thy Son?
Is this the grace which He for me has won?
Father of glory, (thought beyond all thought!)
In glory, to His own blest likeness brought!
Oh, Jesus, Lord, who loved me like to Thee?
Fruit of Thy work, with Thee, too, there to see
Thy glory, Lord, while endless ages roll,
Myself the prize and travail of Thy soul.
Nor I alone; Thy loved ones all, complete
In glory, round Thee there with joy shall meet
All like Thee, for Thy glory like Thee, Lord,
Object supreme of all, by all adored.”
J. N. Darby