Encourage each other with the certain hope of Jesus' return
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Encourage each other with the certain hope of Jesus' return [draft sermon notes]
Published October 16th, 2018
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1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The Coming of the Lord 13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, g that you may not grieve as others do h who have no hope. 14 For i since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him j those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you k by a word from the Lord, 1 that l we who are alive, who are left until m the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 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. And s the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 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, and so v we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Οὐ θέλομεν δὲ ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν, ἀδελφοί, περὶ τῶν κοιμωμένων, ἵνα μὴ λυπῆσθε καθὼς καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ οἱ μὴ ἔχοντες ἐλπίδα. 14 εἰ γὰρ πιστεύομεν ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἀπέθανεν καὶ ἀνέστη, οὕτως καὶ ὁ θεὸς τοὺς κοιμηθέντας διὰ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἄξει σὺν αὐτῷ. 15 Τοῦτο γὰρ ὑμῖν λέγομεν ἐν λόγῳ κυρίου, ὅτι ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι εἰς τὴν παρουσίαν τοῦ κυρίου οὐ μὴ φθάσωμεν τοὺς κοιμηθέντας• 16 ὅτι αὐτὸς ὁ κύριος ἐν κελεύσματι, ἐν φωνῇ ἀρχαγγέλου καὶ ἐν σάλπιγγι θεοῦ, καταβήσεται ἀπʼ οὐρανοῦ καὶ οἱ νεκροὶ ἐν Χριστῷ ἀναστήσονται πρῶτον, 17 ἔπειτα ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι ἅμα σὺν αὐτοῖς ἁρπαγησόμεθα ἐν νεφέλαις εἰς ἀπάντησιν τοῦ κυρίου εἰς ἀέρα• καὶ οὕτως πάντοτε σὺν κυρίῳ ἐσόμεθα. 18 Ὥστε παρακαλεῖτε ἀλλήλους ἐν τοῖς λόγοις τούτοις.
Encourage each other with the certain hope of Jesus' return Introduction Funerals and hope; funerals and despair Original meaning of a 'parousia' Clear purpose; to encourage one another with this doctrine. We don't just want correct meaning, we want correct use and application of the text. Context: confusion about Jesus' return, and those who die before it. Context in the letter: living pleasing to God; a distinctive life before 'outsiders' 1. Since we have a glorious hope, we grieve differently (v13-14) v13 Don't be uninformed v13 don't grieve as others do who have no hope v14 Since we believe; if this then that. Applications Joy and hope coexist with grief (the 'bass note'), for the Christian cf cultural despair as alternatives - both then and now Fake, pseudo-Christian counterfeit hopes 2. Jesus will return and all his people will be with him forever (v15-18) v15 a word from the Lord v15 those alive and those asleep v16 this will be noisy, unmissable, public. OT backdrop to the trumpet. The present dimension ripped away and the ultimate reality of God's King revealed to all. v17 caught up; snatched; seized - raptured v18 purpose of all this? Encourage each other Applications Soul sleep? First fruits and corporate solidarity; what it means to be 'dead in Christ'. The climax of all this - what makes it an encouragement - is that we will be with Jesus, together, forever. Is this really your ultimate hope? [cf engagement ultimate question before marriage] God's glory: Victory over this age's ultimate tyrant; death! He has won in Jesus and shared with us through Him. FCF: Grief and hopelessness in the face of death. Outright, honest despair. Or, Christian fake hope. We're still more likely to die of suicide than martyrdom. Person of Jesus: He tells us this ahead of time. It is he who is our hope - Jesus the man. Keep correcting from abstract to personal. Our hope is not in 'the resurrection' as abstract idea - our hope is in Jesus. Hence the language here! My duty is not to 'protect my marriage', it's to be devoted to Anna! Work of Jesus: in himself he absorbed, endured, exhausted sin and death - to the utmost - in order that all the curses might be expired. The 'scapegoat'. Moreover, his perfect righteousness has been vindicated by God the Father in his resurrection; raised out of death and seated - as a man - in the throneroom of God, gathering his people into himself. Union with Jesus: what is true of him is true of me. Linked to him. I have already passed through death into life. Identified as his through faith, incorporated and dragged with him where he has gone. So that I participate in his life, and even death itself can't stop it. Not just won't, but can't. I will die and see Jesus, and I will come with him and be revealed at the great 'curtain raising' of the cosmos. Wrap up Funerals with hope; funerals with despair Encourage each other with the certain hope of Jesus' return Since we have a glorious hope, we grieve differently (v13-14) Jesus will return and all his people will be with him forever (v15-18)