(From FBC Ruston, Dr. Chris, if you trust my note taking)
OUR WONDERFUL WONDERFUL HOPE
1 Thess 4: 13-18
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
* Christians have the greatest future immaginable
* This text is more early theology from Paul to the new Christian church
* In the Greek, "hope" is a stronger word than it is in English; in Greek it is a confident assurance that some certain thing will come to pass...
1. Christians Who Have Died Are With Christ
Phil 1:22-23 "... desire to depart and be with Christ."
Jesus to the thief on the cross: "Today, you will be with me in paradise."
2. Christ is Coming Back
Paul's words are not an exhaustive study, but this text is a 'complete' study.
No one will miss the Second coming
This will be the most immediately known event ever...
Matt 24:36 -- "...no one knows the time..."
1 Thess 5:2 -- "...will come like a thief in the nite..."
3. Christians Who've Died Will Come With Him
4. Believers Will Be With Christ Then and Forever
Eph 2:2 "the ruler of the air..."
"the air" would have been a term then referring to Satan's domain...at Jesus return, we meet him "in the air" and dislodge Satan...
1 Thess 4:17