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1Thessalonians, Chapter Four, Lesson Three

V.13 (cont'd.)

** While Christians can grieve the loss of a loved one, simply because they will miss them, they should not grieve as those "who have no hope". Who are they?

The unsaved world around us! cf. Ephesians 2:1, 12

V.14 ** What cause for hope does Paul give to the Thessalonians regarding those Christians who had died?

Because Jesus Christ died and rose again (a proven fact), God will bring with Christ those who have died in Him at his Second Coming.

** What does the phrase "died in Jesus" mean, who are these people?

Those who are born again through faith in Jesus Christ, who lived their lives in subjection to Him and died holding fast to the faith - which was once for all delivered to the saints.
cf. 2Corinthians 5:17 and Romans 16:3, 7, 9, 10

V.15 ** It was wonderful news to hear that even the dead in Christ would be with Him at His Second Coming, but how was that going to happen? What needed to take place first?

The "Rapture" - the church needs to be with Christ, before it can join Him in His Second Coming.

** As Paul begins his instruction on the critical issue, from where does he get his information?

"...by the word of the Lord..."

** In all four of the gospel records, you will not find Jesus teaching on this specific subject. So how can Paul say this is the "word of the Lord"?

The apostle is writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told Paul, and Paul is passing on the information. It simply was not recorded in the gospels. cf. John 21:25

Verses 15-17 are describing for the Thessalonians (and us as well) an event known theologically as "The Rapture". Let's compare that event with the Second Coming of Christ.

The Rapture - Read 1Thessalonians 4:15-17

cf. 1Corinthians 15:50-58 and John 14:1-3

In these three passages, the Lord Himself separates Christians out from among non-believers and removes them from the earth (or receives them to Himself).

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