October 28, 2001

                              I Thessalonians 4:13-18



v. 13 - Sleep - death is called sleep often in the NT


Christ abolished death - “she is not dead but sleepeth”

He said of Jairus’ daughter.


I Cor. 15:51-54           Hosea 13:14


He fell asleep - a common epitaph on early Christian

tombstones. - “they that die in the Lord rest from

                        their labors” - Rev. 14:13


Sorrow associated with death - sorrow not forbidden

at death of loved ones but despair is - think of the

resurrection lest there be excessive grief.


A submissive sorrow! A softening, subduing, purifying

mission comes with this grief, and is one of the best means

of helping us receive Christian truth.


Christianity removes the sting from this sorrow by

depriving it of hopelessness.


“Sorrow not as those who have no hope” - even as

others - the secularist.


The sorrow of the world is NO HOPE


Christians sorrow over the grave but it is a sorrow

chastened by faith and cheered by hope.

Christ wept when Lazerus died - John 11:35


v. 14 - “For if we believe that Jesus died & rose again”


“them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.”


“This same Jesus” - Acts 1:11


Christ the first fruits, the first begotten from the dead.


I Cor. 15:17-20


Acts 17:31 - Divine authentication of the claims &

                        Mission of Christ.


The death & resurrection of Christ  are grounds for

enjoying the hope of a reunion of all the dead who

die in the Lord.


The soul is immortal - the body will be resurrected.


II Cor. 4:14 - “knowing”


John 5:24-29


Falling asleep in Jesus we will awaken to eternal

life through Him.


“it doeth not yet appear what we shall be:  but we know

that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we

shall see Him as He is” - I John 3:2



v. 15 - A revelation - two classes  - (1) those alive

            (2) those asleep (shall arise first)


Two classes - One blessed company - “ in a moment,

            in the twinkling of an eye”  - I Cor. 15:52


No one knows the day nor the hour  - the day is

expressly concealed - Matt 24:36, Acts 1:7, ch. 5:12


Christ’s coming could occur anytime - expect it and

live in readiness.


v. 16 - “the Lord Himself” - Matt 24:30-31


Christ accompanied by angels, heralded by a trumpet.


An army associated with royalty gives an impression of

power & grandeur.  So how mighty & glorious a Personage

must He be, in whose honor all the legions of angels are

marshaled!  They are mighty angels, and holy angels, &

especially are they in sympathy with the work of honoring

Christ (something alien to the secularist who think they are

in control today) 


As the angels sang over His birth on earth, so they

accompany Him in His triumphal descent to earth for the

glorious consummation of the age.


They shall awake the dead and collect believers.


The dead in Christ shall rise first before the living in Christ

shall be changed.


There is no allusion to the resurrection of the wicked

at this time - they will be handled or prosecuted at the

time of the second death - Revelation 20:11-15


“we which remain.......shall be caught up”


Christ comes in the clouds - Matt. 24:30 - Rev. 1:7


v. 17 - “and so shall we ever be with the Lord” -

            a meeting without parting - “they go no more



To share a blessed eternity in His glory.  A fulfillment

of the Lord’s prayer in John 17:24


A perpetual enjoyment of the society of Christ.


Christ’s will & purpose - John 14:1-2


Separation will be impossible - witnesses & participants

in the most glorious event the universe has ever seen.


v. 18 - “comfort one another with these words”


“The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is

  eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.  Rom. 6:23