Title: Comfort in Death
Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1. In a different letter, 1 Corinthians 15:26, Paul writes that "the last enemy to be destroyed is death." Why do you think that death is the "final enemy" of the human race?
2. What do we learn about grieving in 1 Thessalonians 4:13?
3. As Christians, our grief is "mingled with hope." What might healthy grieving look like when we lose a loved one?
4. Paul pins a lot on the reality of the resurrection of Christ. What is the point of 1 Thessalonians 4:14?
5. In speaking of the "coming" of Jesus, Paul uses a word that was common in his day: parousia. It was used of visiting dignitaries, and that Latin equivalent was "advent." How might this have encouraged the young Thessalonian church, which was being persecuted for saying that there was a king other than Caesar?
6. Paul also borrow from Old Testament imagery when describing the power and glory of the return of Jesus. What are some of those images in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. What might be the significance of each of the terms?
7. Notice the tone of encouragement in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Paul is not so concerned about a timetable of events, as he is with the encouragement to remain faithful to God. Why do we need such encouragement in times of death?
8. In what ways might Jesus be more beautiful to you in this passage?
9. What is your biggest take away?