Reformed Baptist Fellowship

The Mother of All Family Reunions

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on December 4, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Most have driven into a public picnic area on Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day and observed a banner extended from tree trunk to tree trunk announcing the wonderful event of a “Family Reunion”.

It seems like ages since all have been together.  Glen’s been in Germany for five years.  Cindy’s been in California for a decade.  Paul’s made his first trip back from Arizona.  Jenny’s plane arrived just this morning from Boston.  Look there: cousins playing, uncles carrying never before seen nieces on shoulders, sisters weeping together, estranged brothers arm-wrestling, a newborn crying in a Grandpa’s arms, a mother hugging and refusing to let go of her thirty-something year old son whom she hasn’t seen in years.  Ah, what a blessed thing it is to be a part of gathering together with our dearly loved ones.  The wise man, who comprehends the valuable things of life, wouldn’t miss it for the world!

The Bible describes the upcoming, ultimate family reunion.  Its scheduled date isn’t Memorial Day or Labor Day, but Judgment Day.  Its location isn’t in a public park, but in the open sky.  Its exclusive guests will be only Jesus Christ and the born again children of God.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Charles Simeon exclaims regarding the rapture: “What a surprising sight it will be, to behold countless multitudes of the children of God bursting forth from the graves, and standing up, in an innumerable host, in their incorruptible bodies.” (Expository Outlines, vol. 18, Grand Rapids, Baker, 1988, p331)

At the altitude of 300 feet, we may see Jim Elliot the martyr shaking hands with Martin Luther the reformer.  At 500 feet, we may behold an elderly Christian widow in a swirling embrace with her godly husband who died ten years earlier.  At 700 feet, we may see a mother of many, tearfully counting out how many of her precious darlings made it to the reunion.

What about you?  Do you have an invitation to this sky high reunion, or will you be left behind?  Are you a born again child of God, or a doomed child of the Devil?  There’s no middle ground.

“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, and those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment” (John 5:28-29).

And contrary to popular “left behind” opinion, there’s no second chance.

Anthony Hoekema writes: “The Second Coming of Christ will be a single event, not one that involves two phases.  At the time of Christ’s return there will be a general resurrection, both of believers and unbelievers.  After the resurrection, believers who are then still alive shall be transformed and glorified.  These two groups, raised believers and transformed believers, are then caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  After this “rapture” of all believers, Christ will complete his descent to earth, and conduct the final judgment.  After the judgment, unbelievers will be consigned to eternal punishment, whereas believers will enjoy forever the blessings of the new heaven and new earth.” (The Bible and the Future, Amillennialism, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1979, p174)

Alas, we’re told that “on that day” many deceived souls who thought they’d be taken up to the reunion, will be left behind, and eventually crying, “Lord, Lord!” But Jesus will declare, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21f).

Take a few moments now and meditatively check your own birth certificate.  Believe in the Lord Jesus and repent of your sinful habits today.  Make sure you’re not left behind.  This reunion you don’t want to miss!

Mark Chanski
Reformed Baptist Church of Holland
  1. Good word. Very encouraging. Thanks.

  2. Wonderful word painting. Thank you for your time spent on this nugget.

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