1 Thessalonians 4:18

“Therefore encourage each other with these words.” 

This “one another” involves giving courage to others with our words. 

It is difficult if not impossible to understand the meaning of this one another without first reading the context.  READ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. 

List and discuss several of the things in this passage with which we can encourage one another.

            1. our words can pour light on ignorance about the life to come.

            2. we can discuss the hope of those who die in the Lord.

            3. God raised Jesus from the dead.  He will certainly raise up those who die in Jesus.                 (Paul uses the term “those who have fallen asleep in him.”)

                        a. What connotation does this terminology carry?

                        b. Let’s look at some other passages where this is used.

                                    1) John 11:11-15

                                    2) Luke 8:49-56

                        c. “I am going there to wake him up.”  (John 11:11b).  Those who die in the Lord are dead in the body, but they are not considered dead by Jesus, but rather as sleeping, because on the appointed day He will wake them up.

                        d. Note the contrast that the believer is said to “fall asleep,” but Jesus is said to have “died and rose again.”  He died so that we would not have to.  He conquered death.

                                    1) Revelation 1:17-18

                                    2) Revelation 20:14

            4. “God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”

                        a. Compare with Colossians 3:4

            5. Both the Christians who have “fallen asleep” and those who “are still alive” at the time of Christ’s return will meet the Lord in the air and be with the Lord forever.  That’s encouraging!

                        a. This is one way to know if someone is a false Christ (see Mark 13:22-27).  If you don’t meet them in the air, then they aren’t the real thing. 

Death is very discouraging to many people.  It can be difficult for the believer.  It is unfathomable for the unbeliever, since this life is their only hope.  We have these promises that our God, who raised His Son Jesus from the dead, will one day call us to be with Jesus forever.  There will be no more pain, sorrow or death (see Revelation 21:4). 

Take courage brothers and sisters!

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