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Welcome to Sunday School Class
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The young church at Thessalonica had been taught by Paul to look forward to the Second Coming of Christ. When some in their fellowship died before Christ returned, questions arose which troubled them greatly. Had their departed brethren missed the return all together? How were they to conduct themselves as they waited for that blessed event? The remainder of this epistle deals with such questions. First Thessalonians 4:13- 18 are familiar verses to most Christians. They have been quoted often and read frequently. They have brought great comfort to the hearts of believers grieving over a loved one who has died. Many marvelous sermons have been preached as faithful men of God mined rich treasures from this deep vein of spiritual gold.
1 Thessalonians 4:14
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him”.
To realize the true meaning of Christ’s return
To reach out to others with the message of Christ’s return
To reassure ourselves of the need to be prepared for Christ’s return
1 Thessalonians 4:13
Their Misunderstanding (13a)
Romans 1:13; 11:25 1 Corinthians 10:1; 12:1
2 Corinthians 1:8 1 Corinthians 15:51 2 Peter 3:4
Their Misery (13b)
The death of loved ones is a painful reality that transcends all cultural and national barriers. When we see a mother in a foreign land on her knees weeping over the slain body of her son, we need not understand her language to feel her pain. The Thessalonians, too, had felt the agony of death’s separation. They were new to the faith and had many unanswered questions, among which were concerns for their loved ones who had died. Part of the apostle’s instruction to them concerning this subject included the admonition, “that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (verse 13). Obviously, there was to be a marked difference in the manner in which believers faced the death of a loved one. That difference was rooted in hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:14
The Believer’s Faith (14a)
1 Corinthians 15:19 Job 14:1
1 Corinthians 15:20
The Believer’s Future (14b)
While on one of his expeditions to the Antarctic, Sir Ernest Shackleton was once compelled to leave some of his men on Elephant Island, with the intention of returning for them and carrying them back to England. But he was unavoidably delayed, and by the time he could go for them he found to his dismay that the sea had frozen over and his men were cut off. Three times he tried to reach them, but his efforts ended in failure. Finally, in his last effort, he found a narrow channel through the ice. Guiding his small ship back to the island, he was delighted to find his men not only alive and well, but also all prepared to get aboard. They were soon on their way to safety and home. After the excitement ended, Sir Ernest inquired as to how it was that they were ready to get aboard so promptly. They told him that every morning their leader rolled up his sleeping bag saying, “Get your things ready, boys, the boss may come today.” An apt lesson for Christians, indeed, as we await our Lord’s return.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
The Present (15)
Acts 20:35 1 Corinthians 6:14
The Prelude (16)
John 5:28 Jude 1:91 Corinthians 15:52
The Promise (17-18)
2 Corinthians 12:2
The most exciting event of history, the crowning moment all believers anticipate, is the return of Jesus Christ. There is much discussion as to events preceding and following this event among Bible scholars, and certainly there are many things that none of us know for sure. However, the fact that every detail is not fine tuned to the sharpest clarity in no way invalidates the clear and certain teaching in Scripture of the Second Coming. One of the greatest truths surrounding the Second Coming is that of reunion. For the believer, there can be no greater joy than to know that we will be together forever with Him.
1. What question appears to have led to the words Paul wrote to
the Thessalonians in chapter 4?
2. Why is the resurrection of Christ basic to Christianity?
3. What is meant by the expression “them also which sleep in
4. How does the sorrow of a believer differ from that of an
unbeliever when a loved one dies?
5. How can you comfort fellow Christians—those dealing with
loss and those who are not—with the truth of the
6. What does the Second Coming mean to you? How does it affect
your daily life?
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Applications taken from Bible Teacher Bible Studies for Adults—Fall Edition (2011)
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Presentation Compiled For Randall House By Earl Scroggins