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Simon Park
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Concerning Believers Who Are "Asleep"
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
What about believers who have died?
#paraphrasing
Published April 17th, 2021
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Main point summary
Share the good news of the resurrection of the dead in Christ with fellow believers so that everyone may know the plan of God and keep on rejoicing.
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1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
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But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep,
Brothers and sisters, we know you strive to be holy. We know you love each other. But there is one more thing we want you to know—what death means for the believer in Christ
But a we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who b are asleep,
Now we do not want you to be uninformed, 14 brothers and sisters, 15 about those who are asleep, 16
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep,
g that you may not grieve as others do h who have no hope.
—so that when your loved one, a Christian, dies, you may not feel sad too much like non-Christians: they have nothing to expect after this life but, do you?
so that you will not grieve as do c the rest who have d no hope.
so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope.
that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
Of course not! We do have hope because we believe in Jesus' resurrection and since he died for our sins and rose again for our justification,
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
even so , through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
God sees Jesus when He sees the dead in Christ. So God will have Jesus lead his followers, sinners justified by faith in Jesus, who once died and were raised from the dead to God.
a even so God will bring with Him b those who have fallen asleep 1 in Jesus.
so also we believe that 17 God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep as Christians. 18
even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we declare to you k by a word from the Lord, 1
Receive this as from the Lord Jesus himself because we proclaim the good news as heralds of our king.
For this we say to you a by the word of the Lord,
For we tell you this by the word of the Lord, 19
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord,
that l we who are alive, who are left until m the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
Understand this, that we, the living who wait for the Lord's return, can't cut in line, leaving the dead in Christ behind. We will have to stay here until they are raised and are alive too.
that b we who are alive 1 and remain until c the coming of the Lord, will not precede d those who have fallen asleep.
that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep.
that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
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.
Because this is the procedure God has in mind. The Lord Jesus himself will come down from heaven once again. This time, whole world is going to see the glory of the Son. The Lord will give the command. Then an archangel will shout and the trumpet of God will sound.
For the Lord a Himself b will descend from heaven with a 1 c shout, with the voice of d the archangel and with the e trumpet of God,
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, 20 and with the trumpet of God,
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:
And s the dead in Christ will rise first.
And first things first—the dead justified by the blood of the Lord will be raised imperishable.
and f the dead in Christ will rise first.
and the dead in Christ will rise first.
and the dead in Christ shall 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,
Then we, the living who wait for the Second Coming, will be ascended into the sky together with the raised to welcome our Lord descending from heaven in glory.
Then a we who are alive 1 and remain will be b caught up together with them c in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,
Then we who are alive, who are left, 21 will be suddenly caught up 22 together 23 with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
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 v we will always be with the Lord.
And we and Lord Jesus will live happily ever after.
and so we shall always d be with the Lord.
And so we will always be with the Lord.
and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Therefore encourage one another with these words.
So share this good news and rejoice with one another in the plan of God.
Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Answers "Why?"
Answers "With what words?"
Main Point: Answers "What?" Namely, "Encourage one another"
Key: Commands Means Motives Anchors
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Outline
OUTLINE OF 1 THESSALONIANS GREETING 1:1 MAIN BODY 1:2–5:22 LOOKING BACK WITH THANKSGIVING 1:2–3:13 Cause for thanks: the seed and fruit of their salvation 1:2–5a Following the example of Christ and now leading others by way of example 1:5b–10 The missionaries' character in ministry 2:1–12 Thessalonians' character in faith 2:13–16 In the interim: no news was too hard to bear 2:17–3:8 Thanksgiving and intercession 3:9–13 EXHORTATIONS LOOKING FORWARD 4:1–5:22 Concerning personal purity 4:1–8 Concerning brotherly love 4:9–12 What about believers who have died? 4:13–18 Discerning the times and season 5:1–11 Final exhortations 5:12–22 BENEDICTION AND CLOSING 5:23–28
Observations
Observations: Author: Three co-workers are given as the authors: Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy. (1 Thess. 1:1) First-person, plural ( we, us ) is used throughout this section with reference to authors. 2 Thessalonians is addressed in the same way: from Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy; and uses "we, us" through the letter. (2 Thess. 1:1) They have been approved by God and have been assigned the task of proclaiming the gospel. (1 Thess. 2:4) They were ordered to tell Christians in Thessalonica about this matter. (1 Thess. 4:15) They want recipients to have the same hope they have. (1 Thess. 4:13) Recipient(s): Written to believers in Thessalonica: they are called "brothers" (1 Thess. 4:13) They believe in Jesus' resurrection as missionaries do. (1 Thess. 4:14) They already have hope in the Lord Jesus Christ because they wait for him descending from heaven. (1 Thess. 1:3; 1:10) Relationship: There is evidence of an affectionate relationship as seen in missionaries' concern for the church: "we do not want you to be uninformed . . . [so] that you may not grieve" (1 Thess. 4:13) Occasion: Only vague pieces at this point in the letter: no details on the time frame from when the missionaries were in Thessalonica to when the letter was written. Missionaries and the church of Thessalonians are waiting eagerly for the Second Coming while they are still alive. (1 Thess. 4:15, 4:17) Themes: What hope in Christ is all about The relationship between Jesus' resurrection and ours (1 Thess. 4:13) How the Second Coming will take place (1 Thess. 4:15-17) Tone: encouraging caring Purpose: To not feel sad about the death of their beloved and encourage them (1 Thess. 4:13; 4:18) Keywords: Those who are asleep, who have fallen asleep (1 Thess. 4:13-15) We who are alive, who are left (1 Thess. 4:15, 17) rise (rose again) (1 Thess. 4:14, 16) the dead in Christ General: Missionaries uses the word "those who are asleep" when they refer to the dead who believed in Christ. (1 Thess. 4:13-15) Jesus' resurrection is the basis for the resurrection of the dead in Christ: "through Jesus" (1 Thess. 4:14) Paul doesn't just say that Jesus will come again. He explains how it will happen. There is an order (the dead first, then the living / First, God commands, Second, an archangel commands, and the Trumpet sounds). (1 Thess. 4:15-16) In this grand event, Christians play a part. Both the dead who were raised and the living will be ascended into the clouds and welcome Jesus descending from heaven. (1 Thess. 4:17) Paul says that this word is from the Lord. (1 Thess. 4:15) There are clouds at the meeting place. (1 Thess. 4:17) Comparison of Versions: v.13, all versions—except KJV —use "we" as a subject, while KJV use "I". v.14, Jesus' resurrection is the basis of resurrection of the dead in Christ in all versions. ESV especially stresses it by using the word "since" instead of "if" which is the word other versions used. v.14, NET clarifies this too, by using the connector "so also" instead of "even so", the connector other versions used. v.15–18, There is little difference between various versions.
Structure
Structure: v.18 (Encourage one another with these words) v.13a (Why?) v.13b (What purpose?) v.14b (What words?) v. 14a (How can it be? What is the foundation?) v.15b (What about us, the living?) v.15a (Is it reliable?) v.16-17 (Detailed explanation)
Comments
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.