(1Th 4:16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

(1Th 4:17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

(1Th 4:18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

This is what it’s all about. The rapture, the day of the Lord, the day we as believers are caught up together to meet with the Lord in the air. Wow what an awesome sight it will be to see. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout…. Not a shadow, not a replica, not an angel, but the LORD HIMSELF.

with the voice of the archangel… People argue about what angel this will be, personally I don’t care if it’s Gabriel, Michael  or some angel we’ve never heard of. No matter what, I’m sure it’s going to be an awesome site to see; the angels of the Lord coming down clearing the way for Jesus our Lord and savior to snatch up His children and take them home.

and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Just imagine the trump of God that will wake the dead, and they will rise first with their perfect transformed bodies, and if we’re not one of the first, guess what we’ll be watching our loved ones that died in Christ rise up to the Father.

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: Does that not just give you chills? You see everything right in front of your eyes, the Lord, the angels, loved ones being raisin up to the Lord. And now it’s our turn to be snatched up. And I do mean snatched, look at the Greek word for caught up..

αρπαζω harpazo har-pad’-zo

from a derivative of 138; to seize (in various applications):–catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).

If you believe in Jesus you wont have a say in the matter, your gone, plucked, pulled, taken! Amen, how cool is that? If all of that’s not cool enough for you, then how about this….

and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Need I say more? Forever with the Lord, no more broken hearts, no more pain, no more suffering, no more wishing for this or that, no more need, no more want, and I can go on and on but I think you get the picture.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words. Paul shares this revelation with them to comfort them, to comfort them about their loved ones that died before them. But as you can see it’s so much more then that. It’s a revelation from God to all of us that there is coming a day when He will come for His children and snatch them up. Snatch them up from what? From the tribulation that is to follow. This is a great comfort for us, but what about your mom or dad, or brother or sister, or friend or co worker that doesn’t know Jesus, either by choice or you just haven’t shared Him with them. What’s going to happen to them? Is this the end for them when we all go to be with the Lord? It doesn’t have to be, they will still have a chance to accept the Lord. What if you have shared everything with them and they say, you know if I see you get taken up into the sky to meet with the Lord, I promise I’ll accept Him then.

Jon Courson puts it this way….

If you cannot receive Jesus Christ in this day of grace, what makes you think you will be able to stand for Him in that time of intense persecution? Those who acknowledge Jesus as Lord in the Tribulation will be saved—but they’ll lose their heads in the process (end Jon Courson quote)

(Re 20:4)

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Yes, 1Th 4:14-18 should be a comfort to us but let’s also make sure it’s a comfort to all those around us that have yet to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those around you today, tomorrow could be too late.


(1Th 4:15) 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.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord Paul didn’t just grab out of thin air what he was about to tell them; this was a direct revelation from the Lord. Look at Galatians 1:11-12.

(Gal 1:11) But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.

(Gal 1:12) For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Paul wanted them to know without a doubt this was from the Lord.

that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord Paul says this like they would be alive when the Lord comes; and I believe he says it this way for a reason. Just last night at our Thursday night service our pastor was teaching us out of

(1Ti 6:14) that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing,

Again in this verse Paul is talking like they’re going to be alive when the Lord comes. Why do you suppose Paul says it like this? I believe its because it was Paul’s hope that they would be alive at His return, I think Paul fully expected Christ would return at anytime; and we should too.

Mar 13:32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

We need to be ready. Personally, I want to be not only ready, but doing His work when He comes. How awesome would that be?

will by no means precede those who are asleep. Remember, the reason Paul is telling them this is because they were worried about the ones that died in Christ. So Paul is telling them, not only are they going to be raised up to Christ but they’re going to go before you! What a comfort and encouragement this must have been for them, to hear from Paul that their loved ones that died in Christ before them will not miss the awesome day of the Lord.

 


(1Th 4:13) 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.

(1Th 4:14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

The Thessalonians were new Christians, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t have a lot of reading material explaining the subject of the rapture. Although we don’t know exactly why Paul wanted to explain this particular point to them at this time, my thought is, that while Timothy was with them someone in the church might have passed away and he witnesses how grief stricken and hopeless they felt. So in order for them not to be ingnorant on the subject Paul takes the next 6 verses and explains it to them.

those who have fallen asleep We need to know that Paul isn’t talking about everyone that has died, but only those that have died in Christ, (verse 16)

lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. Here Paul is talking about those that died without Christ. They have no hope! Doesn’t this just get right to the core of our salvation in Jesus Christ and how important it is for us that have Him and know Him; to share His truth with those that don’t? I’ve been to a few Christian memorial services, and they have been sad in the sense that you don’t have that loved one with you anymore. But there is also a great sense of joy. Joy, knowing that your loved one is with Christ . We’re free to celebrate their lives and to praise God for their salvation. More than likely the reason that person had a joy filled memorial is because someone shared Christ with them and gave them hope.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. It wasn’t “if” they believe that Jesus died and rose again. Paul knew they believed  because he had taught them and they accepted Christ’s death and resurrection, or they wouldn’t have been a church. I think it might have been easier for us to understand if “if” would have been interpreted as “inasmuch as” because that is what Paul is saying here. Inasmuch as we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. To me it makes it clear that it’s a fact Jesus died and rose again, and it’s a fact that at His coming those who sleep in Jesus will rise again too.

 


(1Th 4:11) 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,

(1Th 4:12) that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

that you also aspire to lead a quiet life Paul is telling them, don’t seek the limelight, don’t be divisive, don’t cause a scene. Live a quiet humble life. In the Old King James,  Paul says that ye study to be quiet. It’s not easy to live a quiet life. It’s something most of us have to work at.

to mind your own business This should come with leading a quiet life, but Paul throws it in because he must see that some of the Thessalonians are having a problem with being a busybody. He’s telling them to quit meddling in other peoples business that is no concern of theirs. He’s not saying, don’t give advise, or help when you’re needed, but rather wait until you’re asked, and then give your opinion.

work with your own hands, as we commanded you, Get a job, do something with your time! If you’re working you’re more likely to be minding your own business. Paul also recognizes that some of the Thessalonians think that now that they have Christ, there is no need to work. Take a look at 2 Thessalonians 3:11

(2Th 3:11) For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.

So before Paul even writes to them the second time he’s telling them; lead a quiet life, mind your own business, and get a job!

that you may walk properly toward those who are outside. We’re Christians and we need to act like Christ. Paul say’s this about it in Romans 13:13-14

(Rom 13:13) Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

(Rom 13:14) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

What we do in our own lives is a direct reflection on Christ. We need to be hard workers, quiet and humble. Not a drunkard or lewd and lustful, or full of strife or envious. When people look at us as a Christians they should be saying, I want that! They should see the love, the quiet life, the working hard. They should see Christ in us!


(1Th 4:9) 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;

(1Th 4:10) 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;

In verse 9 Paul wanted to acknowledge the fact that they got this love thing. I should also point out that the word taught here literally means divine instruction, they were taught by God, it was written on their hearts to love one another.

In verse 10 Paul encourages them to increase more and more. But if they’re doing such a good job at loving, why would Paul need to say anything at all? Notice Paul says (and indeed you do so toward all the brethren) I think Paul was pointing out that your doing a great job loving their brother (Christians) now it’s time to move on to their Neighbor (people other then Christians).

For the most part it’s easy for us to love one another as long as we’re all Christians. But what about them that we come in contact with that aren’t Christians? Do we show them the same love? We should be, and I don’t just mean outward love that only they can see, I’m talking about the love that God can see. Let’s be honest, we can fake it pretty good when it comes to showing love to others. But can we fool God? In our minds we’re thinking, “Look at me love them, I’m being so nice, I’m having conversation with them, or I’m really helping this person.” But what is our heart saying? We’re all guilty of this at one time or another, and I’m sure the Thessalonians were too. I don’t think it would be a bad thing if we all strive to increase in love more and more.


(1Th 4:1) Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;

(1Th 4:2) for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

(1Th 4:3) For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;

(1Th 4:4) that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,

(1Th 4:5) not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

(1Th 4:6) that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.

(1Th 4:7) For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.

(1Th 4:8) Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.

(Verses 1-2) Paul is encouraging them to move closer and closer to Christ, to follow closely the commandments given to them by Paul, from the Lord. Don’t miss that Paul didn’t make the commandments, these were from Jesus Himself. I think Paul is also saying, you heard the commandments and you know what they are, so don’t do what you want and then plead ignorance; follow the commandments and Please God.

(Verses 3-5) For this is the will of God, your sanctification: God wants us to be holy, sanctified; that’s what sets us apart from the world. So out of all the sins Paul could have pointed out here, why does he choose sexual immorality? I think it’s because this was something they did on a regular basis and didn’t think of it as a normal sin, when in fact it is actually a sin against your own body, that is the temple of God. Look at 1Co 6:18-20;

(1Co 6:18) Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

(1Co 6:19) Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

(1Co 6:20) For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Back up a couple of verses and we read this;

(1Co 6:15) Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!

We need to understand that when we sin by fornication, this is a sin that directly involves God! We’re using His house, His temple! And Paul says “each of us should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;” Again, the Gentiles thought this was a normal thing to have sex, when, where, and with whomever they wanted, Paul was saying, no, don’t do this, be holy, be clean, take care of your vessel, your vessel is Gods temple!

(Verses 6) Paul is saying, If you’re having an extramarital affair, you’re defrauding your brother. You might think no one knows, but God knows and you have been warned. Your sins will find you out.

(Verses 7-8) Paul ends by driving home the point that we are called to holiness and that if you reject all this then you’re rejecting God. Then at the very end he adds… who has also given us His Holy Spirit. Why does Paul add this here? Maybe what he is saying is, come on people you have the Holy Spirit, use Him! Everything that Paul mentions in the above verses, I believe can only be obtained through the Holy Spirit, and that we’re shortchanging ourselves when we don’t put our trust in Him. God gave us the Holy Spirit because He knows we can’t do this on our own. You might be saying, all of this is just too hard for me, well you’re right, it is too hard for you to do on your own, but with God all things are possible.

(Mt 19:26) But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 


(1Th 3:12) And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,

(1Th 3:13) so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

 

Paul is praying that they would love one another and all , to spend their time serving others, building their Christian character to be formed in such a way that they would be blameless before the Lord on His return.

And how do we do that??

First I think we have to notice that it’s the love of God unto us that makes us increase and abound in love. We have to love the LORD and put our faith in the LORD before we can truly love one another. We have to establish in our own heats that the Lord is or Lord and Saviour. When we make the Lord real in our lives, it can’t help but show through. Isn’t that the Goal? To live our lives worthy of God. If it’s not your goal, it should be. And that’s what Paul is praying for, that it would be their goal, to live their lives for the Lord, so that their character is so changed and becomes more like the Lords, that they are not held chargeable, but rather blameless and holy before the Lord.

And when the Lord comes He (God) will establish our hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

That’s how Paul wraps up Chapter 3, with a prayer to our God and Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Praying that we would grow in the knowledge of the Lord, grow in love, grow in kindness, to form our Christian character and to be ready at His coming.