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The assurance of Christ’s return

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NIV

From the text, Paul wants that Christians will be informed about the events that will take place coinciding the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1 Thessalonians 3:10, Paul says, “Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.” The major topic, and therefore the major deficit of their faith, is a more complete understanding of the coming of Jesus in great victory to fulfill His promises. Paul from the text affirms the Lordship of Jesus in the lives of those who surrendered to Him. God’s lordship does not follow upon His return. Four times in three verses (1 Thessalonians 4:15, 16, 17), he calls Jesus “Lord” and uses the present tense. There is not some future event that qualifies Him for this title; He has the title right now. Peter affirmed as much on the day of Pentecost, “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). He is Lord over those who have “fallen asleep” and over those who still live. Because of this fact about His present lordship, there is no reason to sorrow for the destiny of those who have died in Christ. In spite of their deaths, Paul affirms that upon Jesus’ return, “God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” (1 Thessalonians 4:14). Those who have died will not miss Jesus’ return. They will be at no disadvantage because they are not living on earth at the time of His coming. They will experience the same joy as those who are still alive because they made Him Lord over their lives.


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