What are some major events people anticipate immensely? These may include the day a young person graduates from high school, college or completes trade school or an apprenticeship. It would certainly include a couple’s wedding day and the moment of their child’s birth. Perhaps it is an exciting vacation trip or the beginning of one’s retirement. Indeed, there are many stirring times such as these that people look forward to with intense eagerness.
What about you? While you may anticipate various exciting occasions in your life, as one of God’s beloved, “called, chosen, and faithful” brethren (Revelation 17:14), what future event will emphatically transcend and overshadow all of them? Is it not the day of Jesus Christ’s second coming—pictured by the Feast of Trumpets?
In assessing what conditions will be like in human society just prior to Jesus’ return, the Bible describes a heartless period of lawlessness, distress, brutality, persecution and horrendous global warfare (Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21). But this will utterly cease! How? The Bible cites “the Day of the Lord” (Isaiah 13:6), when Christ, the all-powerful “King eternal,” (1 Timothy 1:17) will descend from heaven with His holy angels to establish “righteousness in the earth” (Jeremiah 33:15).
One of His first actions will be to punish evil men and nations, while preventing them from annihilating all life on the earth (Matthew 24:22). In doing so, He will forcibly put an end to human and satanic misrule by destroying “those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18). In a vivid dream about what will occur at Jesus’ second coming, the apostle John wrote, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war” (Revelation 19:11)!
When anticipating these astounding events, there is much more to consider which has everything to do with you and your future. It involves the very moment you will meet your Creator in “the resurrection of life” (John 5:29) which will happen “in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet,” when you “put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:52-54)!
Resurrected to a new, dynamic, spiritual life
In describing this unparalleled development, the apostle Paul wrote, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-16). Those who have died in the faith are in essence, unconscious. When they expired it was as though they went to sleep—to simply await their time to be called out of the grave and be resurrected to a new, dynamic, spiritual life. The period from the last moment of their consciousness until they are “awakened” from this sleep-like condition will seem to them as if no time has passed at all! As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, “The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”
Paul also wrote about the brethren who are living at the time of the resurrection. Their physical lives will certainly end. How? By being instantaneously changed to a new, dynamic spirit life. “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 4:17).
Paul further explained that mortal humans cannot partake in the joys of everlasting life in God’s Kingdom. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Corinthians 15:50). Only those who are “in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17)—who have repented, been baptized and received God’s Spirit—can be changed in the resurrection to enjoy the same glorious, divine life that Jesus does. “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). Now that is something we can zealously and prayerfully anticipate! As Philippians 3:20-21 says, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”
Will we be ready?
So, a stunning, divine transformation will occur! In a split second—as swift as the of blink of one’s eyes—all of God’s faithful brethren will be supernaturally changed and enter an entirely different and stunningly beautiful realm—the “glorious majesty” (Psalm 145:5, 12) of God and His divine Kingdom. Imagine being a recipient of “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away” (1 Peter 1:4)! The Feast of Trumpets not only reveals this breathtaking and miraculous condition but, most significantly, it proclaims Jesus Christ’s second coming and the beginning of His perfect earthly government in which we will humbly serve together with Him as “kings and priests to our God” (Revelation 5:10).
Considering all of what the Bible reveals about the meaning and significance of the events portrayed by the Feast of Trumpets, let’s ask ourselves—is the glorious future ahead in God’s Kingdom so deeply meaningful to us that it animates and motivates us every single day? Also, will we remain completely faithful to God as we potentially endure demanding trials in the weeks and months ahead? Will we do the same when, as prophecy reveals, the entire world enters a terrible time of distress, lawlessness and even intense persecution targeted at God’s Church and its people (Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:9)? Will we firmly trust God to help, guide and strengthen us even when “the love of many” people grows cold (Matthew 24:12)? And indeed, will we be among the brethren who will “be ready” (Luke 12:40) when the day comes to “put on immortality” in the awe-inspiring resurrection at Jesus’ return?
In the twinkling of an eye
Finally, when the literal fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets takes place at the time of Christ’s second coming, He will not only save the world from total destruction and install God’s government everywhere on the earth, but He will honor His dedicated saints enormously! Those who had previously died in the faith will be resurrected from their graves and rewarded with His magnificent gift of salvation and perpetual life. And those faithful brethren living at the time of His return will be changed instantaneously from physical life to glorious, immortal, spiritual life. Therefore, as we celebrate in advance, all of these future events on the Feast of Trumpets, let us rejoice exceedingly—knowing that if we are faithful and obedient to our loving God, we will be resurrected to awesome eternal life “in the twinkling of an eye!”