Caught Up

"The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shoot, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).

"A Physical Impossibility" Sat the Modernists

A pamphlet came into our hands recently, written by a well-known American University professor. In at he endeavoured to show the absurdity of a literal interpretation of this great statement of truth which is so great a comfort to so many Christians. He admitted that the early Christians believed that at the coming of the Lord all who believed on Him would be suddenly translated to heaven — "caught up," as our verse puts at — but he contended that that was because they were ignorant of the laws of nature that are known now to children in elementary schools. For instance, he said, such an event is a physical impossibility, and they would never have supposed it possible if they had known anything at all about the law of gravitation.

But what is the law of gravitation? It is a natural law; and what kind of bodies does it control? Natural bodies. Does that, then, settle the matter? Certainly not. The learned professor had not studied his subject; he had not carefully read his Bible, he spoke too soon. Our bodies as now constituted are natural bodies and so are controlled by natural laws, but they are to be changed. The natural will give place to the spiritual, as 1 Corinthians 15:44 tells us. And what sort of laws will control spiritual bodies? Spiritual laws, and the greatest of all spiritual laws is that Christ is the centre of the universe — The Word is supreme, and He is the great magnet of His saints. That is why we shall rise to meet Him when He rises from His throne to meet us. He shall change these bodies of humiliation and fashion them like to His own glorious body according to the power by which He is able to subdue all things to Himself (Phil 3). Science cannot discover the spiritual world, for it lies open not to investigation but to faith, and in this spiritual world spiritual laws operate, and knowing this we hold on to and rejoice in the blessed hope, and comfort one another with these words.