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His resurrection from the dead was a prelude to the resurrection of His people. It would appear that some of the believers had died recently and some members in the church were wondering if those who had "died in Christ" would miss out on some participation in the glory at His appearing. Death is a fact of life. Death is not an accident; it is an appointment. We all have an appointment with the death angel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ brings hope to those who believe on Christ as opposed to those who are without God and without hope.

The pagans were hopeless in the face of death. How tragic when Christians do not place their faith in the hope of this Gospel as an inward living conviction. The hope of the resurrection is based on the assurance that Jesus died and rose from the dead. Bruce suggests that the apostle Paul had already taught these Thessalonian believers the basic truths regarding Christ's return including the following points:.

Matthew , 27, 37, 39; 1 Thess. Believers in the early church had a daily expectation that Christ would return. They did not set any dates for the return of Christ, but they were looking for His return in their lifetime. There was daily expectancy of His return. They were looking for Christ to come any moment and take them home to glory with Him, not in death, but in a visible personal coming for Christians.

They were looking for Christ to come and take them home to glory without dying. The blessed hope of the Christian is that when we die there is a glorious, unending existence for us in the presence of God. What a joyful reunion when we are joined with Christ and our loved ones in Christ who have gone to heaven before us. We are therefore not like those who have no God and no hope.

Stand Firm

It is important to keep in mind that nothing is said here of the resurrection of those who are not in Christ. We find that in other passages such as Acts ; John , The resurrection of believers was their participation in Christ's resurrection, and this could not be said of the resurrection of unbelievers. It is precarious to draw inferences from Paul's silence about his views on the nature and timing of the resurrection of those not in Christ" Bruce, p.

Neither is Paul concerned in this passage about when Christ will come. Paul's resurrection hope is grounded in the saving work of Christ. Since Paul does not know when Christ will return he therefore does not know if he will be alive or not when it will actually takes place. However, he does know that he will be a part of that grand event. This is what matters to Paul.

Second Epistle to the Thessalonians (NIV Audio Bible Non Dramatized)

Paul did not have any problem with the "delay of the parousia. Christ is coming again and that should give us great comfort John ; ; ; ; , 26; Romans , 38, 39; Philippians ; 2 Corinthians ; 2 Timothy ; Psalms The believer in Christ already has eternal life; and by his departure from this earth, he takes possession of it in a greater measure. Even his body will be raised up at the last day. Why therefore, fear an experience that simply brings us closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

Death is gain for the Christian because it brings us into the presence of Christ. Ever since His resurrection and ascension Jesus has taken with Him into heaven the believers who have died. The children of God are brought at the very instant of their death into the presence of the Lord. The apostle Paul declared that when a Christian dies he is "absent from the body" and "present with the Lord. There is no hope in the future life apart from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. The emphasis the apostle is making in our text is a message of hope.

What Christian, about to depart into the presence of his God, would prefer to begin his life's course down here all over again?

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And who would want to call back a loved one who has just entered into the presence of the Lord" Rene Pache, The Future Life , p. This hope of eternal life will sustain us until that moment when all tears shall be wiped away from our eyes.

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The death of a believer in Christ is not a permanent loss, but a temporary separation until we are all gathered into the presence of our Lord. This grand reunion at Christ's return will rob death of its sting 1 Cor. These words give us a confident hope in anticipation of a future promise by the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ will come; it is only a question of when. Since we do not know when, therefore it is essential that we be prepared. Will there be any disadvantage for the believers who have died in Christ before the rapture?

Will they be disqualified from sharing in the glory of that day perhaps because they have sinned in some way? Let's listen carefully to Paul's response. What happens to believers who die before Christ returns for them? What is going to happen to our loved ones who have preceded us in death? Perhaps they were thinking Christ would come in their lifetime.

TGC Course | Knowing the Bible: 1–2 Thessalonians

Now some of their own family and friends had died since Paul had been there preaching and instructing them. What would be the effects of their premature death at the coming of Christ? Would it be detrimental to their spiritual life? They were quite concerned for their loved ones. Was their death because they were under the wrath of God? Were they being punished for some sin? Revelation of God is true and accurate 1 Thess.

When Paul says, "we do not want you to be ignorant," he is stating in an emphatic way, "we wish you to know. They need to be aware of this important fact. In verse fifteen he says, "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord" giving emphasis to the authority of God's Word. God has spoken; we need to listen. Therefore, why substitute human speculation for divine revelation on such an important subject?

We have a sure revelation from God in His Word. We do not have to turn to philosophers, spiritualists or humanism or the occult for answers to the problem of life and death. Paul will lay aside their fears with a strong affirmation, "by the word of the Lord. There were many sayings of Christ not recorded for us.

He could also be referring to a direct revelation from Christ regarding the Second Coming. These believers still had questions about the fate of their loved ones who had died since Paul had been there and taught them. Who are these who "are asleep?