The Thessalonian church had been taught by Paul that all believers would be reborn in Christ. Their struggle with this truth involved new believers among them who had died after being saved. Paul addresses the reality behind physical death and God’s promise for eternal life after this life.
“9 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.” (1 Thessalonians 4:9)
The Thessalonians were already known for their brotherly affection for one another, or “philadelphia” hence Paul’s commending them for such. Still he calls on them to continue striving for a conduct in tune with Christ’s perfect love, to be used as a vessel by which Christians witness to unbelievers.
“10 And indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.” (1 Thessalonians 4:10-12)
The apostle also invites believers in Thessalonica to live quiet yet meaningful lives, minding their own business and looking after their own affairs. Since Paul was a tent maker, a handy worker himself, he exhorted his audience to continue working in spite of the promise of Christ’s return which Christians believed would take place in their life time.
It was important then, just as it is now that believers should work their way through this life, providing for ourselves and our families rather than become idle at the thought of the second coming which could very well happen today, or a thousand years from now. Since no one knows the day or time when Christ will make His triumphant return, it is wise to keep working diligently with the expectation of His come back without focusing too much on the event itself, rather than irresponsibly give up the needs associated with the world.
“13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-15)
Paul’s hope for the Thessalonians was that together they would keep encouraging one another in faith knowing of the hope that rested with the dead in Christ, which would be ascended first upon His second coming. Unlike pagans who were hopeless in death, Christians have the blessed gift of hope for a rebirth after physical death with eternal consequences.
“16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
Paul instructs the Thessalonians that Christ’s triumphant return will be accompanied by the commanding shout of an archangel, possibly Michael or Gabriel, as well as a clear signal from God Himself in the form of a trumpet. These occurrences are prophesied as individual events, perhaps taking place in rapid succession. Since no one knows when Jesus’ return will take place, believers should be on the lookout for these signs.
“17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18)
Following those who believed and died in Christ, Christians that are among the living will be caught up or ruptured to the heavens where God prepared a place for His children.
With the assurance of God’s eternal gift of eternal life for both the dead and the living, believers are called to comfort one another keeping focused on bringing glory to God as we await the triumphant second coming of Jesus Christ. Absent from the hearts and minds of skeptics, this hope is at the root of Christianity. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre