Courtney Lane
Stay-at-home mom with two toddlers, wanting to learn how to study Scripture better.
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1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
What about death? Or the end times?
Published October 18th, 2019
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Main point summary
Main point summary
Know this, and encourage each other: we who are in Jesus will live with Him forever, whether we are alive or dead before His glorious return.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers,
Now, we would like to discuss with you, brothers and sisters, in order to dissipate all fear and doubt,
about those who are asleep,
this subject of our fellow believers who have died,
g that you may not grieve
because you really have no need to be in mourning,
as others do h who have no hope.
like the lost who mourn those they lose, never to see again.
For i since we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
The truth of the matter is Jesus died too, and came back to life
even so , through Jesus, God will bring with him j those who have fallen asleep.
so we can know that God our Father will also raise to life all our departed brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.
For this we declare to you
And this is the message we have been given to proclaim to you,
k by a word from the Lord, 1
that is , given to us by God, who knows all things, and written in Scripture,
that l we who are alive, who are left until m the coming of the Lord,
that any believer still alive, all those who remain when Jesus returns to claim His Bride
will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
will by no means be the first to see Him in His glory. Those who have died will.
For n the Lord himself will descend o from heaven
And , glorious day, when the Lord Jesus comes back down through the sky,
p with a cry of command,
while shouting the battle cry,
with the voice of q an archangel,
like the archangel's voice, fierce and booming,
and r with the sound of the trumpet of God.
and sounding God's thunderous bugle to advance!
And s the dead in Christ will rise first.
At which time our departed brothers and sisters will be raised again like Jesus!
Then we who are alive, who are left,
Following that, all the remaining believers who are alive at His return
will be t caught up together with them u in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,
will ascend like Jesus into the heavens to join Him and all our fellow believers
and so v we will always be with the Lord.
and then, we will finally get to be with our Lord forever. Sweet bliss!
Therefore encourage one another with these words.
What an encouraging promise! So remind each other often of it.
Now concerning w the times and the seasons, brothers, 1
We would also like to discuss with you what we can expect before these things take place,
x you have no need to have anything written to you.
although you may not necessarily need us to remind you,
For you yourselves are fully aware
because you have been made to know very well
that y the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
that the day when Jesus Christ returns for us will come suddenly and without warning,
While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then z sudden destruction will come upon them
In fact , everyone will be at ease, thinking "All is right with the world" when desolation will strike like lightening,
a as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman,
or like the unexpected and agonizing contractions of a woman suddenly giving birth,
and they will not escape.
and likewise , there is no escape from either. So it will be at the end, when the Lord returns.
But you b are not in darkness, brothers,
However, we are not without hope, my brothers and sisters,
for that day to surprise you like a thief.
and neither are we unaware, to be caught off guard by something we so look forward to.
For you are all c children 1 of light, children of the day.
Because we are God's children, born into light and life and truth, born for eternity.
We are not of the night or of the darkness.
And we are not like we used to be, born into darkness and sin and destruction,
So then d let us not sleep,
In which case we should not be apathetic or ignorant,
as others do,
like those who don't realize or care what's coming,
but let us e keep awake and f be sober.
on the contrary , we should be alert and getting ready!
For those who sleep, sleep at night,
Or try this analogy: when are people asleep, and completely unaware of their surroundings? At night.
and those who get drunk, g are drunk at night.
And when do people drink away their problems, not caring about anything but having a "good time now"? At night.
But since we belong to the day,
But we are not night-dwellers, slaves to satan's domain, we are chosen and redeemed by the King of Light, adopted into God's family,
let us be sober,
so then be awake, and alert, seeking eagerly for the return of our King
h having put on the breastplate of i faith and love,
and armoring our hearts with trusting in God's promises and loving Him and others,
and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
and guarding our minds with the hope that we will be made whole and spend eternity with Him.
For God has not destined us for j wrath,
Because this is God our Father's plan from the beginning, not that we would face His wrath and be set for destruction,
but k to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
but that He would deliver us through Jesus Christ His Son,
l who died for us
who died, on the cross, on our behalf, to pay for our sins,
so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.
so that in whichever state we're in (dead or alive), we would be raised to new life in Him, like He did.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up,
So encourage each other with this Good News, comfort and correct each other,
just as you are doing.
just like you have been doing, continue doing it.
Observations: 1) This "But" in (4:13) comes after Paul's praising the Thessalonian church's love for one another. It seems that they had questions about believers that died before Christ returned and what Christ's return would be like.(5:1-2) 2) Paul uses the word "asleep" for "dead" in (4:13) and for "apathetic" in (5:6). 3) Paul mentions some specific pieces of the armor of God, much like his letter to the Ephesians. (Eph. 6:13-18) Questions: 1)What does Paul mean in (4:15) that those alive when the Lord returns will not precede those who died? 2) In vs 16, is this a specific order? What is the importance to the distinction of these sounds? 3) Do these statements argue for a pre-tribulation viewpoint? Takeaways: 1)There are two obvious commands: a) "be sober" which I take to mean both literally "don't get dunk" and figuratively "be alert and getting ready" for Christ's return, (in my paraphrase) b)"encourage one another with these words", also "encourage one another and build one another up", talking about the hope that we have after death, with Christ's return, and God's salvation for us. 2) Our means to obey these commands is our adoption into the Light, our belonging to the day. Because God has saved us and made us part of His Church, His Bride, we can look forward with excitement to His return, instead of trepidation. (Anchor) 3)We can also know that our loved ones who love Jesus and pass away will be with Him and we will be with them again. 4)Our motivation to be sober is so that the day of the Lord does not come upon us like a thief in the night, and our motivation to encourage each other is love, and being the Body together. I would like to use these tools learned from this course to get more of my studying the Bible, whether by myself, with my husband, after a difficult passage in a Sunday sermon, and someday with my kids. Immediately I'd like to work on the book of 1 Peter, because it contains my life verse and I'd like to get the greater context. I may have an opportunity to use it in an upcoming Bible study with the ladies at church.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.