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My How We Have Changed

by Mike Sanders

     This is the definitive Scripture. It answers the question. Yes. We will know one another when we are gathered to Jesus. Paul wrote, “For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? 20For you are our glory and joy (1 Thess 2:19-20).”

      Paul wanted to go back to Thessalonica. They were constantly in his thoughts. His gratitude and appreciation for them was obvious and ongoing (1 Thess 1:3). Seeing them again would be so special to him. Many were his children in the faith (Acts 17:1-4), his students in the prophetic Word (2 Thess 2:5). Satan, however, had prevented his attempts for return visits (v 18). In spite of that and more so, Paul’s hope was the ultimate reunion, when he would see them again on that promised and certain day to come. He describes it as “in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming.” This affirmed occasion will be uplifting (1 Thess 4:13-18), rewarding (2 Cor 5:10), and I can only wonder and be amazed at the rejoicing (1 Cor 2:9).

     There is something very special here. See the clarity and certainty. Paul’s hope includes the confirmation that he will know them! Paul will recognize them and be able to identify these he has loved when he does see them again, “even you (v.19).” He had wanted to revisit them in Thessalonica, to see their faces (1 Thess 2:17). But the joy, the exultation, now awaits the day when he will see them in Jesus’ presence. “What a day, glorious day, that will be!”               


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Include these Scriptures in your study, too:


1 Sam 17:8-17                                     Saul recognized Samuel.

Matt 17:3-4                                         Peter recognized Moses and Elijah.

Matt 26:29                                           Jesus will drink the cup “with” the disciples.

Luke 16:19-31                                     Abraham, Lazarus, and rich man recognized

2 Corinthians 1:12-14                         “We are your reason to be proud.”

1 Thessalonians 4:14, 17-18               This hope is the comfort.



Mike Sanders is a member of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, and teaches a Bible  class there.  He is a former Church of Christ minister and retired UPS pilot.              

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4