Assured of salvation
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. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord… 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15a NLT
After reminding the believers in Thessalonica that they are to live out their lives committed to following the Lord, Paul now turns to the topic related to eternal life. They want to hear from Paul that those who came to know Christ as Lord and Savior though they die before the return of Christ, they will be raised from the dead. Christians in Thessalonica were confused about this matter because of the false teaching that only those who are alive when Christ returns will receive eternal life. This false teaching had caused so much grief that Christians became fainthearted at the thought that they will not see their loved ones who have come to a relationship with Christ. So, Paul provided them an assurance that their hope is anchored to what Jesus Christ accomplished through His death and resurrection and what was in the “word from the Lord.” The believers, though they will grieve over the death of their loved ones, yet if they are believers as well in Christ, they have this sure hope of a better future in the presence of their Savior. This is in contrast to those who did not have a relationship with Christ while here on earth for there is no promise of eternal life for them. Christians should come to a realization that death will not sever their ties with God. Christ’s resurrection provided a beginning point that those who trusted Him as Lord and Savior will be raised from the dead just like Him. “In fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). In Christ, all that believed and trusted Him though they died, will be made alive. The basis of our faith is founded upon the historic fact of Christ’s resurrection. Since our Lord Jesus Christ had conquered death, we do not need to fear death or the future. The Word of God provides us the assurance and comfort that once we believe in Him, we know that we have eternal life. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).