I Thessalonians 4:13-18 The Glorious Appearing of Our Lord

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
1 Thessalonicesi 4 :13-18 “Fratelli, non vogliamo che siate nell’ignoranza riguardo a quelli che dormono, affinché non siate tristi come gli altri che non hanno speranza. 14 Infatti, se crediamo che Gesù morì e risuscitò, crediamo pure che Dio, per mezzo di Gesù, ricondurrà con lui quelli che si sono addormentati. 15 Poiché questo vi diciamo mediante la parola del Signore: che noi viventi, i quali saremo rimasti fino alla venuta del Signore, non precederemo quelli che si sono addormentati; 16 perché il Signore stesso, con un ordine, con voce d’arcangelo e con la tromba di Dio, scenderà dal cielo, e prima risusciteranno i morti in Cristo; 17 poi noi viventi, che saremo rimasti, verremo rapiti insieme con loro, sulle nuvole, a incontrare il Signore nell’aria; e così saremo sempre con il Signore. 18 Consolatevi dunque gli uni gli altri con queste parole.”
     One of the cardinal doctrines of the church is the coming of the Lord. Everyone has questions surrounding this subject and the Thessalonian believers had theirs as well. Their questions revolved around the state of people who had died in the faith. Paul assures them that they have the same hope of those who are alive. Death is not annihilation, but simply a rest from labor. We know from Scripture that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). For those who have died, their body will be resurrected at the coming of the Lord and those who are alive will follow.
     There is a great difference for the unbeliever. Unbelievers cannot be sure of the end because they do not have the hope of eternal life. The Christian can rejoice in knowing that death is, in essence, a resting time for the body to be resurrected and united with the glorious Christ. The proof being that Jesus died and was resurrected and we will follow His example. Some may ask: How can the bodies of so many people over the centuries be resurrected at the great sound of the trumpet? The answer is that God who created everything out of nothing is certainly able to reassemble what He has made! I Corinthians 15:52 echoes the same message, “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
     Paul concludes this theme with the admonition to “encourage each other with these words.” Our hope is in Christ who is coming in the clouds. What a glorious day that will be!
Pray with me: Lord, when I think about what you have planned for the entire family of God, once again I am struck by your awesome power. Help me to be comforted when I face grief because your glorious appearing will wipe away every tear.

Pastor Bob

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