But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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: 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 4:13-18)
Today's Morsel: On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts."One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me," said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence. Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me."
He just knew what it was. "Oh my," he shuddered, "It's Satan and the Lord dividing the souls at the cemetery." He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along. "Come here quick," said the boy, "You won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls." The man said, "Beat it kid, can't you see it's hard for me to walk."
When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled to the cemetery. Standing by the fence they heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me..." The old man whispered, "Boy, you've been tellin' the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord himself." Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything.
The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord. At last they heard, "One for you, one for me." And one last "One for you, one for me. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence, and we'll be done."
... They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes ahead of the boy on the bike. (A little humor to start the day)
Paul said that the dead in Christ shall rise first. He told the church at Rome, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection" (Romans 6:1-5). Are you dead in Christ? We must be dead to the things of this world, and alive to Christ. To be like Jesus must be our ultimate goal. We must strive every day to be more like Him at all cost. Because one day there will be a dividing of nuts. Some nuts are going into eternal life and the others are going into eternal damnation (Revelation 20:11-15). The nutty person who lived according to God's Word will belong to the Lord, and the nutty person who didn't will belong to Satan.
Cause I'll rise again, aint' no power on earth can tie me down. Cause I'll rise again, death can't keep me in the ground.