Summary: An explanation of the events of 1 Thessalonians 4
1 Thess. 4:13-17
I want to preach on my favorite passage... The Parousia, the rapture, the second coming.
The KJV uses the phrase, "I would not have you to be ignorant..."
I never liked that translation because I took "Ignorant" as an insult... like stupid. Then I discovered that there is a great difference between being ignorant and being stupid.
Ignorant means ....uninstructed, destitute of knowledge, uninformed... an ignorant person is one who has not yet been taught something, but once taught is smart enough to grasp it.
Stupid means... incapable of learning.... this person is not just un-informed or un-taught... he can't learn if you try.
Paul did not say, I don't want you to be stupid....... he said I don't want you to go on without being taught .
That is how I feel about you.... I don't want you to be un-taught this very important truth. I like how the Peterson version says, "We don't want you to be in the dark any longer."
"Those who have fallen asleep"... is a euphemism, a delicate or softened expression... for those who have died.
The bible only uses "Dead" or "Die" for the lost or for sin... because in scripture "death" refers not to cessation of life, but to separation from God.
For Christians, death was a sleep, a temporary condition of the physical body that would end with the resurrection, when the body would be raised, changed and given eternal life. the separation would end
For non-Christians, the separation is eternal, thus it was called death.
Ex: Moses Dt 31:16 And the LORD said to Moses: "You are going to
rest with your fathers, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them.
Lazarus Jn 11:11 Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, Our friend
Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him
Steven Acts 7:60 And they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, "Lord Jesus,
receive my spirit." And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, "Lord do not hold this sin
David Acts 13:36 "For when David had served God's purpose in his own
generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed.
WE DO NOT DIE....... WE SLEEP..... temporary, we will be awakened
“That you grieve not… sorrow not”
This IS NOT saying that when a person dies… it is un-Christian to cry or to be broken hearted.
Those tears are natural, and part of a great God-given gift.... love.
Grieve, however, carries a different meaning. To grieve meant to be without hope, to abandon all hope. This came out of the Greek belief of annihilation of the soul... the belief that this world was all there is and when a person dies, they are forever gone, never to be seen again.
A popular Greek poem of Jesus day said, "The sun can set and rise again
But once our brief light sets
there is one unending night to be slept through
For the Christians there is always hope..... especially in death.
Our hope is our knowledge that our body goes in the ground, and will see corruption... but our soul goes to heaven and Jesus will raise up our body eternal.
Our hope is that they are not gone, we will see them again. There are those with no hope.... THE LOST
Is 38:18 They that go down to the pit (hell) cannot hope for thy truth.
But for the Christian there is always hope....
Prov. 14:32 The righteous hath hope in his death.
Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began
Titus 2:13 Looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
Since we believe that Christ died and rose again
I know that some versions say, "IF we believe that Christ died and rose again"
In the Greek, the term "If” can be used to mean not possibility, but established fact.... more like "since".
We do believe that Jesus died in the flesh and was resurrected to life.
EVEN SO =IN THE SAME WAY..... IN LIKE MANNER
What God did for Jesus He will do for us
We shall be resurrected in the same way.
God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep
If we are having a spaghetti supper and I want tea and Donna is standing by the tea I can ask her to, “Please, BRING me some tea.”
But if no one is by the table and Reese is sitting beside me, I would not tell him to "Bring" me some tea but rather "Go and get me some tea, Please."