Who Goes First? (1Thess 4)

 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, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 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. 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. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

We’ve all worried about our loved ones who have passed on, or perhaps we’ve thought “what’s going to happen to me when I die?” The answer Paul gives is “don’t worry.” God is going to take care of all of us. There will come a day when Jesus is going to return and do something different. Just as Jesus was raised from the dead, so to the dead in Christ will be raised imperishable (see 1Cor 15) and then Christians who are still alive will be immediately transformed (bypassing death altogether). Jesus’ resurrection is our model for what is to come for us, a glorified body with no sin, corruption, or decay. This is good news and we need to tell this to encourage people. “Jesus is coming back!” And when he does, we’ll be with Him forever!

About John Harris

I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

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