1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Last time Paul wanted the church to know that they should continue to love one another even more. He taught them they should live quiet lives, mind their business, and not be idle. The idea is that he wanted these Christians and us to walk differently in the society around them. To live out their faith so that others would take notice, but in a quiet manner.
Do find God’s word comforting?
Do you comfort others by telling others God’s word?
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Paul starts off by saying I don’t want you to be ignorant or uninformed. Apparently there was a question about what happens to believers that have died, when the Lord returns. These believers were obviously living with the expectation that Jesus was coming back for them soon. They endured the hardships and persecution and lived out their faith because they believed Jesus was coming for them. They didn’t want those that had already died to miss out on his return. Paul wants to make sure they understand what will happen when the Lord comes back and to comfort them. Today when someone dies and we go the funeral; it seems much harder to bear if we aren’t sure the person that died was a Christian. We know if they died without being saved, that there is no hope for them. Of course if they are a Christian we still grieve for them, but we know that they are with the Lord, and one day we will be with them again. Our hope is based on what Jesus has already done and will do.
Notice Paul said if we believe that Jesus died and rose again then those that died as believers will come back with Jesus. In other words, when they died, they went to be with Jesus. When Jesus comes back, they will be with him.
Paul wants people to know that we that are still alive at this time, will not be first to rise, but that those that have already died before us will be first.
So one day Jesus will return and the dead in Christ will rise first, and then we Christians will meet him in the air, and we will be with him forever. We aren’t like the unbelievers who have no hope, we have hope, and that should bring us comfort.
There are many beliefs on when this will happen and will it be before the tribulation period, during the tribulation period or after the tribulation period. First I think the most important thing is to know that we are to receive comfort knowing that this will happen. The immediate need was to reassure and inform these people and us, so they wouldn’t worry. Second, I believe that it will be before the tribulation period.
During the tribulation period, God will poor out his wrath on this earth. It will be a very horrible time for those that are on earth. One of my favorite verses is Romans 5:8
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us https://indegenerique.fr/..me/.
I also like the verse right after this one.
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Because we are saved, and justified by Jesus’s blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. I could go to other verses (Rev 3:10, 1 Thess 5:9), but this is enough for me. I don’t believe the church (believers) will face the terrible wrath poured out during the tribulation period. Instead, Jesus will come to get his church, his believers, before the tribulation period starts.
Obviously Paul wrote this to give us comfort, and we should take great comfort in these words, but how can we apply this passage to our lives?
Ask yourself this question…
How does know this truth, change my life?
- Comforts you at other believers funerals
- You won’t suffer God’s wrath
This passage should motivate us to tell others about the hope we have in Jesus. Think about a close friend who is a non-believer of yours or a loved one who is a non-believer passing away. Imagine sitting at their funeral…what will you be thinking…
- They have no hope
- I won’t see them again
- Why didn’t I tell them about Jesus
Comfort comes from knowing that your friends and family are saved and will rise again to be with Jesus forever. What Paul said should bring us comfort but it also should motivate us to reach others.
What brings you comfort?