Main point summary
We will all live for ever with Jesus because Jesus said so.
1 Thess 4:13-18
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep,
Οὐ θέλομεν δὲ ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν, ἀδελφοί, περὶ τῶν κοιμωμένων, (1:10; 2:19; 3:13)
Now , having spoken about how we should all be ready when Jesus returns, it's very important for you to know what will happen to the believers who have already died when Jesus returns,
Now we do not want you to be uninformed, believers, about those who are asleep [in death],
g that you may not grieve
ἵνα μὴ λυπῆσθε καθὼς
even though you're sad and upset when they die, so that you wont be full of sorrow and despondency,
so that you will not grieve [for them]
as others do h who have no hope.
καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ οἱ μὴ ἔχοντες ἐλπίδα.
in the same way as those around you for whom death is the total and absolute end of everything.
as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life].
For i since we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
εἰ γὰρ πιστεύομεν ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἀπέθανεν καὶ ἀνέστη,
The reason is that we don't have that kind of hopelessness because if we trust fully that even though Jesus died, God brought him back to full life again,
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [as in fact He did],
even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him j those who have fallen asleep.
οὕτως καὶ ὁ θεὸς τοὺς κοιμηθέντας διὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἄξει σὺν αὐτῷ.
then in the same way, when God comes back with the living Jesus, those who died believing in him, or shall we say have 'fallen asleep', God will bring them along too.
even so God [in this same way—by raising them from the dead] will bring with Him those [believers] who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
For this we declare to you k by a word from the Lord, 1
Τοῦτο γὰρ ὑμῖν λέγομεν ἐν λόγῳ κυρίου,
For this is how the Lord told us to explain it to you,
For we say this to you by the Lord’s [own] word,
that l we who are alive, who are left until m the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
ὅτι ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι εἰς τὴν παρουσίαν τοῦ κυρίου οὐ μὴ φθάσωμεν τοὺς κοιμηθέντας•
that all of us who survive and are living and breathing at the moment Jesus returns most certainly will not have any sort of advantage over those who have died,
that we who are still alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede [into His presence] those [believers] who have fallen asleep [in death].
For n the Lord himself will descend o from heaven p with a cry of command, with the voice of q an archangel, and r with the sound of the trumpet of God.
ὅτι αὐτὸς ὁ κύριος ἐν κελεύσματι, ἐν φωνῇ ἀρχαγγέλου καὶ ἐν σάλπιγγι θεοῦ, καταβήσεται ἀπʼ οὐρανοῦ
because the Lord Jesus himself in his resurrected body will come down from the sky with a great shout of command, loud enough to wake the dead, with an archangel calling out and adding his voice, and the trumpet of God will blast out too,
For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel and with the [blast of the] trumpet of God,
And s the dead in Christ will rise first.
καὶ οἱ νεκροὶ ἐν Χριστῷ ἀναστήσονται πρῶτον,
and all those who had believed and trusted on Jesus when they died, will rise up from their tombs.
and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left, will be t caught up together with them u in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,
ἔπειτα ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι ἅμα σὺν αὐτοῖς ἁρπαγησόμεθα ἐν νεφέλαις εἰς ἀπάντησιν τοῦ κυρίου εἰς ἀέρα•
Then , at the same moment, all of us who are still alive and have survived up to this time, will be be suddenly taken up into the clouds and carried to a meeting place in the air,
Then we who are alive and remain [on the earth] will simultaneously be caught up (raptured) together with them [the resurrected ones] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,
and so v we will always be with the Lord.
καὶ οὕτως πάντοτε σὺν κυρίῳ ἐσόμεθα.
and so it will be that we will meet with Jesus with every other believer and we will all be together, never separated again, for ever and ever.
and so we will always be with the Lord!
Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Ὥστε παρακαλεῖτε ἀλλήλους ἐν τοῖς λόγοις τούτοις.
So as you reflect on the amazing future these words of Jesus paint for us, make sure you keep on reminding each other of them so that you're cheered and inspired and constantly reassured.
Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words [concerning our reunion with believers who have died].
K ey : Commands Means Motives Anchor
Pauls main point: 17b: we will always be with the Lord. 18: encourage each other with these words Devotional thought: Whatever our situation, however overwhelming our circumstances, no matter how threatening tomorrow may be, a day is coming when Christ shall return. That certain future gives courage and strength for today. The commands: 13a: This is an indirect command that we need to obey - to be informed about the second coming of Jesus for believers who are alive and also believers who have died. 18: Is a direct command to use our knowledge about our future after death to encourage each other. The means: 14b: Tells us that we will have this hope because God will bring the dead back with him when He comes. 16a: Tells us that Jesus himself is going to come down from heaven to do this, and command the dead to rise as he did with Lazarus. 16b: The dead are not lost because they will rise up first. The anchors: We can be certain of these things because... 14a: We believe Jesus was dead but God has raised him to life again, so it will happen to us. 15a: Jesus himself has told us these things. Our motivations: 13b & c: We need never grieve with hopeless despondency for our believing friends who die. 17a: We are all going to meet again with Jesus in the sky. 17b: From Christ's return and for ever, we will never be separated from him or other believers. OT allusions: 16a: Trumpet - Ezekiel 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. Also Ex 19:16 and several other passages. 16a: The shour of God: Joel 2:11 The LORD utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome; who can endure it? 17a: Rising up to eternal bliss: Dan 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 17c: Encouragement: Isaiah 40:1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Questions: 13b: Does 'that you might not grieve' mean Christians shouldn't grieve? Does it mean that 'we mustn't be ignorant because we should know God will bring them back with him' 14b: What does "through Jesus" mean here? Does it mean 'by the agency of Jesus God will bring with him...' or 'those who have died believing in Jesus, God will bring back'? 16a: how do the three prepositional phrases related to each other? v14-15: Why are three titles used - Lord, God, Jesus? Observations: 14: The Greek is a clear 1st class conditional statement 15b: Note the emphatic negation 13a: The Lords return spoken of in 1Thess 1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 5:2, 5:3, 5:23. OUTLINE OF 1 THESSALONIANS I. Greetings 1:1 II. Main Body 1:2-5:28 A. LOOKING BACK WITH THANKSGIVING: 1:2-3:13 B. INSTRUCTIONS AND EXHORTATIONS LOOKING FORWARD 4:1-5:11 1. ABOUT US BEING READY FOR JESUS' RETURN 4:1-12 i. Personal purity 4:1-8 ii. Brotherly love 4:9-12 2. ABOUT JESUS' RETURN 4:13-5:11 i. Those who have died 4:13-18 ii. Times and seasons 5:1-11 C. FINAL REMARKS 5:12-28