I WOULD NOT HAVE YOU IGNORANT
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” 1 Thess 4:13-14 (KJV)
What Paul had said about a life that pleases God likely has something to do with their misunderstanding of Christ’s Coming. Some part of the preaching of the Gospel had been twisted into a reason why they should not live a quiet and active life. And why they were sorrowful about those Christians who had died. Their sadness had its roots in their belief that the dead would not share in Christ’s
. Paul’s reasoning is this: We believe that
Christ raised from the dead. Therefore
we believe the dead will be raised through Christ when He Comes. Heavenly Kingdom
1. The Lord’s Coming.
“We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.” 1 Thess 4:15-18 (NLT)
a) Personal existence continues after death. “Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in
Paradise." Luke 23:42-43 (NKJV)
b) Those who have died await the resurrection. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.” 1 Cor 15:22-23 (NKJV)
c) Paul does not prohibit grief (cp. John 16:6,20; Phil 2:27) but calls Christian mourners to abandon the kind of grief typical of those who have no hope in God. “For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.” Phil 2:27 (NKJV)
2. Our faith in Christ.
a) The central Christian faith, that Jesus died and was raised to life again, is the foundation for hope in the face of death, guaranteed by the resurrection of Christ.
“Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world." John 11:24-27 (NKJV)
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” 1 Cor 15:20-22 (NKJV)
b) God will bring back refers to the resurrection of believers.
“And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matt 24:31 (NKJV)
“This strong hope characterized the outlook of the early Christians. They were able to endure their suffering because their eyes were fixed on what lay beyond this life (2 Cor 4:16-18; Heb 12:2). They expected Jesus to return and resurrect their bodies. They looked forward to living with him forever (1 Pet 1:3-6, 23). Jesus' own bodily resurrection was the foundation of their Christian faith (15:12-20; Acts 4:33; see also 2 Cor 4:14).
The resurrection body will be fundamentally different from the body we experience in this life, with all its limitations and failings. Our resurrected bodies will be glorious, strong, immortal, and spiritual, like Christ's own resurrection body (1 Cor 15:35-58).” —NLT Study Bible
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit thec) And so we will always be with the Lord. The Lord’s Church does not terminate, but is united to Christ as a bride to her husband. The Heavenly Wedding Feast continues forever without end. Revelation 19:5-9
; nor does
corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall
not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- in a moment, in the twinkling
of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will
be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor 15:50-52 (NKJV) kingdom