Them Which are Asleep

1Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 

‘But I would not have you to be ignorant.’ Six things not to be ignorant of: God’s faithfulness in trouble (2Cor. 1:8-10). Gospel responsibility (Rom. 1:11-18). Spiritual gifts (1Cor. 12:1-31). God’s purpose for Israel (Rom. 11:25-32). The resurrection and future life (4:13-18). God’s judgments on backsliders (1Cor. 10:1-13).

‘Concerning them which are asleep …’ This is the 4th New Testament prophecy in 1 Thessalonians and it is unfulfilled.

Six new revelations: All who die in Jesus will be brought back from heaven to be given resurrected bodies (4:14; John 5:28-29; 1Cor. 15:20-23, 35-58; Php. 3:21). The living in Christ at this time will not die but be changed (4:15-17; 1Cor. 15:51-58; 2Cor. 5:1-10; Php. 3:21). This is the coming of the Lord in the air, not His coming to the earth (4:15-17; 2Thess. 2:7; Rev. 4:1). The Lord Himself, not some other one, shall descend from heaven to translate the saints (4:16; John 14:1-3; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; Php. 3:21). The dead in Christ shall rise first before the living are changed (4:16; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; Php. 3:21; John 5:28-29). All in Christ from Abel to this time will be changed from mortality to immortality in the body in a moment and will be caught up (raptured) with the dead in Christ to meet the Lord in the air (4:17; John 14:1-3; Luke 21:36; 1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; Php. 3:21; 2Cor. 5:1-10; Col. 3:4; 2Thess. 2:7; Eph. 5:27).

‘Sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.’ Eight Christian hopes: Salvation (5:8; Rom. 8:20-25; 15:4, 13; 2Thess. 2:16; 1Pet. 1:1-25). Righteousness (Gal. 5:5). God’s calling (Eph. 1:18; 4:4). Eternal inheritance (Col. 1:5; Eph. 1:11-18; Heb. 9:15; 1Pet. 1:4). God’s glory (Rom. 5:1-5; Col. 1:27). Resurrection (4:13; Acts 23:6; 24:15; Tit. 2:13; 1Jn. 3:3). Eternal life (1Cor. 13:13; 15:19; Eph. 2:12; Col. 1:23; Tit. 1:2; 3:7; Heb. 3:6; 6:11, 18, 19; 7:19; 1Pet. 1:3-13). Converts safe in heaven (2:19).

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