6: The Coming of the Lord (1Thess 4:13-5:11)
In the previous
passage, Paul urged the believers to abstain from sexual immorality and to
abound in love. Now, he continues his exhortation, turning to the topic of
hope. The coming of the Lord must always be on the mind of believers, for that
is the ultimate goal of our salvation. Expectation of the Lord’s return also
has direct bearing on a Christian’s daily living. It brings comfort to the
bereaved and demands a sober life.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the
voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will
rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with
them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be
with the Lord” (4:16-17).
Did You Know…?
(4:16): Michael is the only archangel named in the Bible.
2. “The times and the seasons” (5:1) “are
well-known words describing the end times from two perspectives. The former
conceives more of elapsed time and hence a particular date or dates when
predictions will be fulfilled. The latter word, while including some reference
to extent of time, gives more attention to the character or quality of a given
period, i.e., what signs will accompany the consummating events” 5vol11/280
(cf. Acts 1:7; 3:19-21).
3. “The day of the Lord” (5:2): This is a biblical
term for a period of time in the future in which God will pour out His wrath
and exercise judgment (cf. Isa 3:16-24; 13:6-11; Jer 30:7; 46:10; Ezek 30:1-4; Joel 2:1-32; Amos 5:18-20; Obad 15-18; Zeph 1:7-18; 2:1-3;
Zech 14:1-21; Mal 4:5; 1Thess 1:10; 2:16; 5:9; 2Pet 3:10).
4. “Not” (5:3): An emphatic double negative in the
Greek, a construction Paul uses only four times in all his writings. 6/1827
5. “Son of” (5:5): In Semitic languages (such as
Hebrew) to be the “son of” a quality meant to be characterized by that quality.
1. How are the
endings of 4:13-18 and 5:1-11 similar?
2. Compare 5:1-6
with Matthew 24:36-44 and record the similarities.
1. What is Paul’s purpose in writing this
2. How do those who have no hope view death? What
emotions result from such a view?
3. What does Paul call
believers who have died in Christ? Why?
4. Record what this passage teaches about what
will happen to those who sleep in Christ.
5. What will happen to believers who are alive
when the Lord descends from heaven?
6. How can we be certain that the dead in Christ
7. This passage reveals in detail the events at
the Lord’s descent. How does Paul know about these future events?
8. Paul tells the believers to comfort each other
with these words. What aspects of this passage do you find comforting?
9. In what sense is the coming of the day of the
Lord like the coming of a thief in the night?
contrasts does Paul make here?
characterize those who are of the night?
12. According to
Paul, what does it mean to be sober?
13a. How does verse 10 define salvation as mentioned in verses 8
13b. What does it mean to live together with the Lord, whether we
wake or sleep (10)?
14. What is the
importance of Christian fellowship in light of the Lord’s coming?