Main point summary
You can grieve death and maintain hope for those lost, because those who have died in the Lord will raise again, and will even rise to meet the Lord before the living.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep,
Regarding your loved ones who have passed away, we want you to have clarity about their situation
g that you may not grieve as others do h who have no hope.
so that you mourn their loss in a way that expresses the future expectation we have in Christ's return. This world also mourns, but they do so without any expectation of being restored to those whom they have lost.
For i since we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
Here's why you can have hope: we have faith that Jesus returned from the dead after his crucifixion,
even so , through Jesus,
and in the same way, by means of our union with Christ,
God will bring with him j those who have fallen asleep.
the Lord is certainly going to also raise those in Christ who have passed away from this earth.
For this we declare to you k by a word from the Lord, 1
You can have confidence in this, because these coming truths are from Jesus himself.
that l we who are alive,
Those of us who still remain on the earth,
who are left until m the coming of the Lord,
that is, those who are alive bodily when Christ returns on that Day,
will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
are not necessarily going to raise before the dead, even though they will have the advantage of already being above the ground.
For n the Lord himself will descend o from heaven
Here's how it will happen: Jesus, our savior, will come down from the sky,
p with a cry of command,
accompanied by a great battle cry of the heavenly armies,
with the voice of q an archangel,
and the booming voice of one of the chief angels,
and r with the sound of the trumpet of God.
and God's trumpet will blast forth, just as it did on Mount Sinai.
And s the dead in Christ will rise first.
Next, those who died with faith in Jesus as their savior, will raise just as Christ did, and will meet him in the air before everyone else.
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,
After them, those who are living when Christ returns, will follow the dead and meet Jesus in the air as he descends.
and so v we will always be with the Lord.
And that is how we will all be finally and completely reunited with Jesus forever.
Therefore encourage one another with these words.
The implication of all of this should be of great encouragement to you -- you should remind one another of this hope, in order to encourage and build one another up.
Paul seeks to give them understanding. Having correct understanding (or you might say theology!) has great practical application -- Paul corrects their understanding in order that they might not grieve in the same way as others.
Union with Christ grounds our hope! This is such a great overarching truth that has so many deep implications.
The Lord's coming will be a triumphant and loud occurrence -- it will not be discrete!
This is the second implication of the passage -- since these truths are so important and provide much hope, they ought to be on our lips as we speak with one another in order to stir up encouragement.
This is the main implication of the passage -- that we ought not to grieve in the same way as unbelievers. This is grounded in the truths of union with Christ, the bodily resurrection of Christ, and the return of Christ.
Jesus' resurrection grounds our hope!
Jesus' return (and the manner in which it will occur) grounds our hope!
I have started to implement a plan of going through chapters 11 and 12 of 1 Corinthians, since that is the book I have been studying. I will use the study plan provided to go through each section, recording observations, compare between translations, discern the main points, write a paraphrase and main point summary, and finally thinking through implications of the text. I am excited to share the ideas I have learned here with my small group as we study various books of the bible. I especially love the idea of writing a main point summary to help condense the passage into a single idea. I think this helps to remember the big themes of each passage and book.