The Great Surprise

1 Corinthians 15:51–52

THE FEELINGS ARE FAMILIAR. Mouth open. Eyes like saucers. Chill up the spine.

“The flash of a mighty surprise” boggles the mind, leaving us somewhere between stunned and dumb with wonder. “Am I dreaming or is a miracle happening?” So it is with surprises. Surprises start parties and end partnerships. They solve murders, enhance birthdays and anniversaries, embellish friendships. Kids at Christmas love ’em. Parents expect ’em. Coaches use ’em. Politicians diffuse ’em.

The highs and lows of our lives are usually triggered by surprises. Within split seconds we are sobbing or laughing like crazy.

Ever traced the surprises through the Bible? That Book is full of them. Like when Adam and Eve stumbled upon Abel’s fresh grave. When Enoch’s footprints stopped abruptly. When Noah’s neighbors first realized it wasn’t simply sprinkling. When Moses heard words from a bush that wouldn’t stop burning. When Pharaoh’s wife screamed, “Our son is dead!” When manna first fell from the sky. When water first ran from the rock. When a ruddy runt named David whipped a rugged warrior named Goliath. When a judge named Samson said yes instead of no. When a prophet named Jonah said no instead of yes. When the disciples discovered that Judas was the one. When the only perfect One who ever lived died on a criminal’s cross. When Mary saw Him through the fog that epochal Sunday morning.

If we had time to enjoy the whole album, we’d be up ’til midnight. And the last surprise may be greatest of all.

We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:51–52

Talk about “the flash of a mighty surprise!” Jesus’ return will be the absolute greatest surprise. Adding to the greatest surprise will be that people like us will be included in the group, stunned and dumb with wonder. Let’s face it, that won’t be just a surprise or a dream. That’ll be a flat-out miracle.

Are you ready? Are you sure?

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

Posted in Bible Characters, End Times and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.