Believers Who Have Died
1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-18
The Events of Christ’s Return
1 THESSALONIANS NOW START ITS PLACE IN TELLING US ABOUT EVENT OF TIME TO COME AND HAPPENINGS AT CHRIST RETURN AND WHAT A GLORIUS DAY THAT WILL BE FOR ALL BELIEVERS IN CHRIST.
13Brothers 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. 14For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.15According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.
4: 13-18 The Thessalonians were wondering why many of their fellow believers had fallen asleep (died) and what would happen to them when Christ returned. Paul wanted the Thessalonians to understand that death is not the end of the story. The great hope for all believers is in the Resurrection. Because Jesus Christ came back to life, so will all believers, including those who have already died. We need not despair, therefore, when loved ones die or world events take a tragic turn. God will turn tragedy to triumph, poverty to riches, pain to glory, and defeat to victory. All believers throughout history will ultimately stand reunited in God’s very presence, safe and secure. As Paul comforted the Thessalonians with the promise of the Resurrection, we should comfort and reassure each other with this great hope. When Christ returns, all believers— dead and alive— will be reunited, never to suffer or die again.
4: 15-18 Knowing exactly when the dead will be raised in relation to the other events at the Second Coming is not as important as knowing why Paul wrote these words: to challenge believers to comfort and encourage one another when loved ones die with the hope of Jesus’ second coming. This passage can be a great comfort when any believer dies. The same love that should unite believers in this life (4: 9) will unite believers when Christ returns and reigns for eternity.
4: 15 What did Paul mean when he wrote, “according to the Lord’s word”? Either this was something that the Lord had revealed directly to Paul or it was a teaching of Jesus that had been passed along orally by the apostles and other Christians.Tyndale. NIV Life Application Study Bible.
ON THE WAY HOME WALK WITH JESUS and KNOW that our day of being with JESUS is awaiting him when he returns, whether we have fallen asleep (died) or are still living.
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