SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Thursday December 26, 1996

Glorified and Translated by God
(1 Cor. 15:51-58)

When God comes to deliver the final generation of His faithful people, what other event also occurs?  1 Thess. 4:15-17; 1 Cor. 15:50-57.

Ellen White reports these sights and sounds from a vision she received: "Soon I heard the voice of God, which shook the heavens and the earth.  There was a mighty earthquake.  Buildings were shaken down on every side.  I then heard a triumphant shout of victory, loud, musical, and clear.  I looked upon the company, who, a short time before, were in such distress and bondage.  Their captivity was turned.... Their enemies, the heathen around them, fell like dead men; they could not endure the light that shone upon the delivered, holy ones.  This light and glory remained upon them, until Jesus was seen in the clouds of heaven, and the faithful, tried company were changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, from glory to glory.  And the graves were opened, and the saints came forth, clothed with immortality, crying, 'Victory over death and the grave'; and together with the living saints they were caught up to meet their Lord in the air." - Early Writings, pp. 272, 273.

Why will the joy of the saints be complete as they ascend heavenward with Christ and His angels?  Ps. 126:1-6;  1 Thess. 2:19, 20;  3 John 3, 4.

The widow's mite, the hungry boy's five loaves and two fish, Mary's alabaster box - all have encouraged countless numbers of people to participate in God's service.  How these three will rejoice in heaven when they behold the outcome of their simple, yet meaningful actions.  Likewise, we can only imagine the effect our seemingly insignificant, daily acts of service will have on others.  In heaven we will meet the people we have fed, sheltered, clothed, nursed, encouraged, educated, and prayed for or with.  "What rejoicing there will be as these redeemed ones meet and greet those who have had a burden in their behalf!  And those who have lived, not to please themselves, but to be a blessing to the unfortunate who have so few blessings - how their hearts will thrill with satisfaction! They will realize the promise:  'Thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee:  for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.' " - Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 312.

This is the church triumphant!