This past Saturday, I joined many of my former classmates from Garden Spot High School at our 50th year class reunion. For many, it was the first time I had seen them in 50 years. While I enjoyed the roughly 4 hours of fellowship, I didn’t come even close to “catching up” with everyone who was there, and I certainly missed those who were unable to come. One of the greatest needs of the reunion, and one of the greatest provisions of it, was name tags. I, like many others, was at a loss to immediately recognize some of the attendees due to the fact that none of us had any gray hair in high school, and most of us were a few pounds lighter.
As I reminisced about the reunion, I thought of a future reunion that will infinitely surpass the one I just attended. Scripture reveals that at any moment the Lord Jesus Christ could come in what is known as the rapture of the Church. It is at this point in time that all the dead who have appropriated the salvation provided by God in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be raised from their graves and given resurrection bodies. Immediately subsequent to their raising, those who are alive in Christ will be likewise transformed and caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air and return with Him to heaven. Now that will be a reunion!!!
There will be those that I will have never met and yet, because of God’s grace in the perfection of our salvation, I will know all without a name tag or an introduction. I will know a little of the story of some from reading about them in the pages of the New Testament or in history books. Most I will know having never had any contact with them or knowing anything written about them. And they will know me. All of us will have stories to tell of how God enabled us to accomplish good and provided for us out of His infinite grace.
For many of us at the high school reunion, the conversation included medical/physical calamities that have slowed us down in our “old age.” At the reunion in glory, no such conversation will take place. Corruption shall have put on incorruption and mortality shall have been replaced with immortality. Sickness, disease and physical accidents that harm the body will be a thing of the past. At the end of the day, (if there is such a thing in eternity) no one will run out of energy and need to go home to retire and refresh.
Missing from the high school reunion were those who were our teachers. These are those who invested their time and energies in teaching us the things a school board determined that we needed to know and that would prepare us for life. Not so in the reunion in heaven. The One who gave His life for us will be the focal point of our celebration.
But the biggest difference between these two reunions is the cost. The dinner had a cost that had to be paid if you were to eat. For many, there was only a minimal cost in transportation to the restaurant since they lived in the area. Some though, came from a distance and so there was a significant cost, not only in transportation, but also in hotel accommodations. Whether great or small, all had to pay something. Participation in the rapture, though, is at no cost to the believer. The cost of sin, eternal death, was paid in full by Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. The phrase, “It is finished” uttered by Jesus immediately before He died, is the translation of one Greek word “tetelestai” which was written on bills of sale when the price was paid in full. Admittance and participation in this reunion is free to all who will receive Christ by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Some of my classmates were unable to come to the high school reunion because of other commitments. Some simply were not interested in reunions, and that’s fine. I missed seeing them, but maybe I will have another opportunity in the future to renew our friendships. However, if you miss the rapture, I’ll never see you in eternity. Make your reservation today if you have never trusted Jesus to save you from your sin.