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1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18


1. Between the founding of the church and visit of Timothy, some members of the Thessalonian church had passed away. Therefore, there was a confusion as how they will participate in Jesus’ coming

2. Paul’s purpose of writing this section is pastoral, not necessarily theological

3. The Thessalonian Christian were experiencing grief because of the death of one or more of their members

(a) Paul teaches them that they must not be overwhelmed with grief like the unbelievers “who have no hope”” (v. 13)

(b) Paul’s comfort is based on Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection

(c) Jesus’ resurrection is the model of the destiny of the deceased believer (verse 14)

(d) Just as God raised Jesus from the grave, so will He raise the believers from the dead at “Jesus’ coming”/Parousia

(d1) The word “Parousia” appears 6 times in 1 & 2 Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 3:13, 4:15, 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 8)

– Meaning of “Parousia”: The coming of a hidden divinity or the official term for a visit of a person of high rank

– When used for Jesus, it is His coming to meet His followers and judge the unbelievers—two purposes: gather the believers and the Day of the Lord (4:13-5:11)

– Jesus’ work goes beyond His birth, death, and resurrection, to the future

4. Jesus’ “Parousia” is a public event (verses 15-17)

(a) The dead in Christ will rise first and then those who are alive (verse 15)

(b) Both the dead and the alive will join together and meet Jesus in the air which is called the “Rapture” (Latin word rapio) (verse 16)

(c) Following this meeting in the air, the believers will remain with Jesus forever (verse 17)

5. Take Away

Have a healthy tension between “serving” and “waiting”

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at