The first time our Lord and Savior came to earth, it was in a humble Bethlehem stable, attended by shepherds. He came to be the sacrificial lamb, led to the slaughter without opening his mouth, to pay for the sin of all mankind. When He had completed his earthly mission, He ascended into heaven, with angels declaring that He would return the same way He left (Acts 1:9-11).
His second coming, as Paul reminded the Thessalonian church, will be a very different affair. Now glorified, the Lord Jesus Christ will come with the clouds of heaven, and with the same voice of authority that commanded "Lazarus, come forth!" He will open the graves of all the sleeping saints, who will rise to meet Him in the air. Then it will be our turn; those of us who still inhabit these earthly bodies, but daily yearn for his appearing, will hear the trumpet of God, and be caught up together with our Savior and our loved ones, changed in the twinkling of an eye. "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (1 Cor. 15:54).
May we all be found watching when that glorious day dawns. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
All Scripture references from KJV. Commentary ©2011 Hitchcock Family Ministry. Unaltered text may be reproduced freely without financial gain. Original commentary and Scripture song available at http://www.freescripturesongs.org/for-the-Lord-himself-shall-descend-from-heaven.