Devo: 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

We have all been through allot these last few months.  What began as a blurb on the news, about a virus on the other side of the world, has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, untold loss of livelihoods, and global suffering that cannot be quantified.  

What began as an encounter between one police officer and one civilian, has resulted in massive public expressions of sorrow, fear, hatred, and revenge.  And has led to a significant challenge to the very concept of Law and Order in the United States of America.  

What began long ago in the Garden, as a simple challenge to the goodness and integrity of God, has resulted in a world full of Sin, Despair, Hopelessness, Pain, and Suffering— a creation in need of a Savior.  

Jesus came to the world, to be that Savior, He came to free us from the bondage of sin and death, and by God’s grace, through faith and trust in Christ, He forgives us of all our sin, and we have the promise of eternal life.  

The sad truth about the events of today, is first, that Rebellion against God is becoming more and more acceptable throughout the world, and second, no matter how many new laws are written, no matter who wins the next election, no matter how many protesters get to see the changes they want to see, the world is not going to be free of suffering.  The Suffering and Death we all experience, are a result of sin, and will continue, until God says “That’s Enough.”  When there is no more Sin in the world, there will be true justice, and there will be no more suffering in the world.   In this passage, Paul is saying that Jesus is coming back— Therefore encourage one another with these words.  

So Paul writes— 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18, But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 

  • Paul says here, that sin and death bring grief to all who experience them, both the believer, and unbeliever grieve, and Paul wants us to be informed with Truth, so that we, as believers, will not grieve as those who have no real hope.  
  • For the unbeliever, this life, no matter how good or bad it is, will be the best life they will experience.  For the Believer, the best life is yet to come, and because of that reality, we grieve death, but not as the unbeliever grieves.  
  • He goes on to say that 14 … since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.  So by faith in Christ we are saved from the penalty of sin, and just as Jesus was resurrected from the grave, we too will be resurrected.  
  • 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 

In Christ—

  • The promise of eternal life after death
  • Our physical bodies will be resurrected
  • Jesus will return, and with the sound of a trumpet, will call all believers to Himself, those who have already died will be first raised, and then those who are still alive.  
  • All Believers will meet the Lord in the clouds, and will remain with Him forever.

The world can cry out for the end of sickness and disease, for the end of injustice, suffering and fear.  They can cry, and we can answer those cry’s.  Jesus is the only Way, He is the Truth, and He is the Life.  

No one will be saved, no one will be with the Father, except through Him.  

This world is not all there is, and Death is not the end.  As believers in Jesus Christ, we have the gospel, we have the commission to go and make disciples, we have the promise of Christ’s return, of our bodily resurrection, and eternal life with God.

18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

~ by James M. Winslow on 2021/04/12.

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