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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Scripture Sunday, Week 11


Happy Easter!!

This is the eleventh part of an ongoing series going through 1 Thessalonians. The first part can be found here.

"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

I was a Religion minor in college and I took a class on early Christian writings and I remember reading a description in a letter of the peculiar Christians and their reaction when one of their own died; they sang and celebrated. It was so bizarre to the non-Christian writing the letter, but it was such a beautiful heart song to me. They were living out this passage "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.". It can be hard, but we in Christ have to remember when we die, we only sleep. It still hurts for those left behind because truthfully humans were built for eternity not separation and ending, but it's only temporary and it's a definite upgrade for the one who has passed.

"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." Death in Christ is not death at all! They will rise again.

"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." Paul is saying that at the second coming of Christ those who have already fallen asleep in Christ will be raised up first, and then those who are still alive on earth will be clothed in their eternal bodies. "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." I think that's pretty clear!

"And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words." Forever with the Lord! That's what eternity is for us who love Christ. If that doesn't sound marvelous to you, and you consider yourself a Christian, you should pray for more love because once you fall in love with God there's no better thought!! The thought encourages me and I hope you're encouraged too!

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