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Some people are so focused on heaven and their desire to get there, that they pay little attention to issues of justice and righteousness in our world. But the truth is we should be concerned about both—heaven and earth. Our motivation for serving God in the present is knowing what the Bible teaches about what will happen when Jesus returns. In 1 Thessalonians 4, the Apostle Paul wrote this: “Dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words” (from vv. 13–18). Today, we serve others in the here and now, because we know that a great future is ahead for those know and serve our Lord Jesus Christ.

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