THE LORD HIMSELF Andy Hollifield 9-14-18
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
The Lord himself. Not a substitute, not an angel, not one of the old saints, not one of our loved ones that have already gone on, but he himself. He will come back for his bride. That ought to make us feel special and let us know how much we are loved. Jesus stood up for Stephen’s arrival to heaven and he spoke directly and audibly to Paul on the Damascus road but he hasn’t returned to earth since he left. But he will come back himself to get his bride. The phrase “the Lord himself” is used only three times in the bible. The first is Joshua 22:23 speaking of the Lord being the one to judge. The second is Isaiah 7:14 where Isaiah is prophesying of the birth of Jesus. He tells Israel that “the Lord himself” will give them a sign and it will be that a virgin will conceive. The last is 1 Thessalonians 4:16 speaking of the return of Christ to rapture the church. The thing I found interesting is that the first speaks of judgment, the second time is the remedy for our guilt, and the third is our reward for accepting the remedy.
Another phrase, “God himself” appears only four times. The first is 2 Chronicles 13:12 speaking of “God himself” being our captain. The second is Isaiah 45:18 speaking of “God himself” being the creator. The third is 1 Thessalonians 3:11 where Paul speaks about the fact that “God himself” will direct our way. The last one is Revelation 21:3 where John speaks about his revelation of the new heaven and new earth and tells us that “God himself” will be with us there and be our God. He goes on to say that “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Our captain, our creator, our guide, and our God. If that don’t encourage you knowing that “God himself” is all of those things to us now, there’s nothing I can say to help you.
Another term that you will like is “Christ himself.” It is used only twice. Ephesians 2:20 speaks about the “…household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.” The household of God. We are part of it only because that we accepted the remedy for our sin. The other is in 2 Thessalonians 2:16. It is a departing prayer by Paul for the Thessalonians asking that “our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father,” would “comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”
Probably the most encouraging of all is found in John 14:3. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” The great and comforting promise of his return was given to his disciple at the last supper for us all. Again, he himself will return. Not another, not a substitute, but he himself. Straight from his mouth to their ears and also to us. The Lord himself will return and take his bride, his purchased possession, to be with him forever and ever. “And so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!