This week we will be studying 1 Thessalonians 4. The first thing that pops into everyone’s mind is the Rapture. However, the answer to the age old question, “What is God’s will for my life?” is answered prior to Paul expounding on the Rapture.
Now Paul explains the Rapture to the Church at Thessalonica.
Comfort in light of the Rapture (13-18) This is the most extended and most important description of the Rapture in all of Scripture.
a. The Hope of the Rapture (13)
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
b. The Confidence of the Rapture (14)
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
c. The Order of the Rapture (15)
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
d. The Person of the Rapture (16a)
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
e. The Resurrection of the Rapture (16b)
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
f. The Catching up of the Rapture (17a)
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up
g. The Intimacy of the Rapture (17b)
together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
h. The Encouragement of the Rapture (18)
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Ultimately the Rapture is a comfort to a needy people. We are to serve God till He returns. We are to watch expectantly and persistently.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001