At the end of the age, when God establishes his rule, he will do a wonderful thing for his people. He will rescue them completely from death, so that they have his new life in both their bodies and their spirits. They will never again suffer shame, weakness or death. Always they will live and rule with him.
This will happen in a single moment; it will happen at once to all of Godís people. God will gather them all together. Then they will enter the New Jerusalem, where God will constantly be present with them (Revelation 21:1 to 22:5). Then the new age will begin, when God rules all things (15:28).
The sound of the trumpet will declare that this moment has, at last, come. The trumpet was, in the ancient world, the loudest musical instrument. Men sounded it to gather soldiers for a battle, or to gather people for an important event. Christ said that the angels (Godís special servants) would gather Godís people with the sound of a great trumpet in Matthew 24:31.
Paul described this event again in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. He said there that Christ himself would come to lead his angels. First, he would bring life to the bodies of Christians who had died. As they had suffered death, so they first should know complete freedom from death. However, some Christians would still be alive on earth at that time. So God would then give them the same freedom from death. Together, they all will rise to be with Christ.
Paul calls this a Ďmysteryí. In other words, it is something that God has shown to his people. They could not know it from their natural minds, or from a study of this world. They only know it because God has shown it to them.
Next part: The defeat of death (1 Corinthians 15:53-55)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.