The singer Vera Lynn died on the 18th June 2020 at the age of 103. She was important in boosting British morale during WW2 with her songs which looked forward to a better time when the dark days of war were over. They captured the essence of soldiers leaving their families to fight so there could be future peace. Her most famous song is “We’ll Meet Again” within which it is easy to see that departure of soldiers from their loved ones and all those teary farewells which must have taken place at railway stations and docks all over Britain at that time.
Speaking as someone who has been recently bereaved, my wife died on the 3rd March, this song has a particular resonance in a Christian sense as one day we will meet again.
The when of this is unknown as it says in Matthew 24:36 – But as for that day and hour , nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, no one but the Father only.
When I speak of eschatology, that is the study of the end times, that part of theology concerned with death, judgement and the final destination of the soul and of human kind.
The New Testament tells us that we are living in the last days. Hebrews 1:1-2 puts it like this, “At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets, but in our own time, the last days, He has spoken to us through His Son.
This interval then, this two thousand years so far, from Jesus’ first coming, the church age, and looking forward to his second coming, is the last days.
Why such a long interval? To provide a precious time to be saved. As John 3:16 says “Yes, God loved the world so much that He gave his only Son, so that everyone that believes in Him may not be lost but may have eternal life.” And in Romans 10:13 it says “For everyone, without exception, who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This gives us a confidence that, being in Christ, We will meet again.
To the bereaved St Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve, like the rest of mankind who have no hope.”
(There must have been some anxiety in that Church about those have died. Maybe because they were expecting Christ to return soon they thought you had to be alive when he returned.)
Paul continues (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18) “We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus: God will bring them with him. We can tell you this from the Lord’s own teaching, that any of us who are left alive until the Lord’s coming will not have any advantage over those who have died. At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord for ever. With such thoughts as these comfort one another.
We Will Meet Again!