Comfort One Another With These Words 1 Thess 4:13-18 • Vs. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. Let us study the paragraph of this letter to understand the “therefore”, the conclusion, the reason that these words are words to be used at occasions like this, the death of our dear sister Janelle. • Vs. 13 Vital information- do not want you to be uninformed; the basis of our comfort is this revelation from the Lord through Paul. Comforting word is “asleep”. Death is presented as a sleep, just a harmless, temporary state. We are reminded of the scene before Jesus raised 2 people from the dead, Jairus’ daughter Lk 8:49-56 and Lazarus Jn 11:11-15 and also the death of Stephen Acts 7:60. The words that follow do not take away grief, but lessen it compared to the grief of those who have no hope. The “hope” that is now described makes all the difference in the hour of grief. Hope involves both desire and expectation. Hope is not just what we desire to happen, but what we also expect will happen. Comfort One Another With These Words 1 Thess 4:13-18 • Vs. 14 • Basis of the Christian’s hope- in an event that we believe happened- Jesus died and rose again. Faith that is based on evidence- all admit Jesus’ tomb was empty three days after His crucifixion- do we believe the soldier’s story or in the resurrection? Consider the number of eyewitnesses (1 Cor 15:6- 500+), the changed lives of those who claimed to be eyewitnesses, both those who were with Jesus in His ministry and Saul of Tarsus; consider the founding of a new religion based on this truthright in Jerusalem- and that persecution could not stop it, but only serve to spread it. • If we believe in Jesus’ resurrection, we have every confidence that God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus- they have not perished- their souls are just temporarily away (in Hades- Lk 16) • Key words- “in Jesus”, those who have established and maintained a relationship with Jesus- Rom 10:9-10; Acts 2:38; Rev 14:13 Comfort One Another With These Words 1 Thess 4:13-18 • Vs 15 • Again it is emphasized that this message is the word of the Lord- given by divine revelation: The living will not precede those who have fallen asleep. This message seems to be given to clarify and alleviate concerns over the return of the Lord- What would happen to those who die before He comes back? Will they be left out? No! The living will not go to the Lord and be received by Him ahead of the dead. Paul goes on to explain how the dead won’t be one step behind. • Vs 16 • Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, His shout accompanied by the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God- Jesus returns with great majestic fanfare – a great and wonderful announcement of His presence• When He does so- the “first” thing to happen will be the resurrection of the dead in Christ (all the dead will rise at once- Jn 5:28-29; Acts 24:15), but here it is especially those who are in Christ that are being discussed. Comfort One Another With These Words 1 Thess 4:13-18 • • • • • Vs 17 Then, after the resurrection of the Christians, the Christians who are alive and remain will be caught up “together with them in the clouds” – those separated by death and now reunited – so that all of Christ’s people may be gathered to Him at once – to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall “always” (“at all times, continually”) be “with the Lord” – the “we” now = the raised dead and the living- once separated temporarily by the sleep those who died in Christ- now together forever with the Lord. Vs. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.