1Thess 4:16-17 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
This is a real event.
A shout that will vibrate the earth and penetrate the deepest graves.
The voice: they did not recognise it previously when Heaven opened and a voice said,
“This is my beloved son … ” Only He heard that. On the road to Damascus only Saul heard the voice. To some its just thunder.
Here is a story:
Perhaps on that day, some godly little servant girl may be waitering on the table of her rich and fashionable mistress. The afternoon “bridge” and “whist” now over, the dinner being served faultlessly. Sparkling witticisms are being exchanged over the snowy linen, with its shining silver and fragrant blossoms.
The maid (lets call her Miss Faithful) is obediently serving the soup and oysters; but her heart is far above all the frivolity with which she is surrounded. She is thinking of Christ’s soon coming, and of that other table – the Marriage Supper of the Lamb – where she will be a guest and the angels will serve the tables.
Suddenly a loud and most peculiar indefinable sound is heard from above, which causes the very window panes to rattle and the delicate china to tinkle.
“Mercy! What was that?” asks someone nervously.
“Sounded to me like thunder”, replies the another, glancing through the window. The sky has been a little cloudy this afternoon – guess we may have a little shower, nothing to be alarmed about, I’m sure”.
“Oh, dear! thunder, storms and lightning make me so nervous,” trembles the worldly unprepared mistress, “but I guess this will pass over.” Her hand trembles visibly as she sounds the table chime for Miss Faithful.
The moments pass, and yet no Miss Faithful appears with the roast fowl and vegetables. What can be keeping the girl!
The mistress rings again and yet no servant. She grows embarrassed and rings again. This time the puzzled woman excuses herself and goes to the kitchen door. Never before has the obedient respectful servant neglected her duty in this manner.
“Miss Faithful! Where are you?” – no reply.
“Cook where are you and do you know anything about Miss Faithful?” – still no reply. The are nowhere to be found; there is the dinner on the tray, ready to be served, there is the pan which has just boiled dry on the stove, beginning to burn – and over on the window seat an open Bible, marked at 1Thessalonians 4:16.
Impatiently she touches the button for the chauffeur.
“Perkins, have you seen Miss Faithful or the Cook anywhere?”
“No Ma’am, I saw them last just before they began to prepare dinner. While you were playing ‘whist’, they were having a little prayer meeting here in the kitchen; and Miss Faithful was reading ‘The Book’, over there”.
How very strange! The mistress finally served the dinner herself, and engages new servants the following day. The subject of conversation at the dinner turns to the large number of unexplained disappearances of which one reads in the papers today; and the episode is dropped. To the hearts of the sinful worldliness it was but the sound of thunder. To Miss Faithful and the Christian cook it was “The Voice of the Lord”.