Words of Comfort - 1 Thessalonians 4

Words of Comfort

1 Thessalonians 4:1-18

The Christians at Thessalonica were looking forward to the coming of the Lord.  Some believers died.  Did they miss out on the kingdom of God?  What did the future hold for them? 

Paul wrote, "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep (that is, concerning those who have died), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope."  It isn't wrong to grieve the loss of loved ones, but we need not hopelessly drown in our tears. 

We believe in the resurrection of the dead.  "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep (or are dead) in Jesus."  The dead will rise again, even as the Lord Jesus Christ rose again.  Death is not the end.  It could not hold Jesus in the grave.  "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth...."  John 5:28, 29.

We believe in the return of Christ.  He promised, "I will come again."  John 14:3.  Here Paul reminds us, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God."  When He went back to heaven, His disciples were told, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."  Acts 1:11.  This is called "the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ."  Titus 2:13.  We have hope because Jesus is coming again.

We believe in the reunion of the living and the dead.  "And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air."  What a day of rejoicing that will be!  Our loved ones in Christ, who have died and gone before, will be gathered together with us.  Dead or alive, it makes no difference.  There will be a meeting in the sky.

"And thus we shall always be with the Lord."  Always!  With the Lord!  David expressed this truth beautifully, when he wrote, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."  Psalm 23:6.

Yes, the Thessalonians believers grieved the death of fellow believers.  Now there was no reason for them to sorrow as those who have no hope.  They believed that Jesus died and rose again.  Resurrection!  Return!  Reunion!  "Therefore comfort one another with these words."  Words of comfort!

 

Living God, thank You for the sure hope that we have as believers in Jesus Christ.  We rest in that hope, knowing that we will live together with You.  Help us to share this comforting message.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 

Thirteen Exhortations - 1 Thessalonians 5

 
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