December 2, 2018
As I continue with the resurrection of Christ from "Did Jesus Just Happen" (The Life of Christ), Paul further, says that the event of the Resurrection will take place.
Let us now consider 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18, where the Apostle gives us yet a more detail concerning this event which is described as the translation or rapture of the Church. Paul was writing to meet a problem which has arisen in the Thessalonian Assembly. He had spent only a short time in their midst. In spite of the fact that these believers were spiritual babes, Paul had not feared to impart to them the truth concerning the hope of the Lord's return.
From that time they had been living with expectancy of the imminent return of Christ who would translate believers into glory. Then a strange thing happen--physical death came into the assembly of believers and some of the brethren died. Those who survived became concerned, for they were afraid that those who had died would either miss something of the benefits of the translation or would have an inferior place in glory. It was their thought that living believers would have all the advantage at the time of the translation. They might well conclude that if there were two different groups who went to be with the Lord, one by translation and one by resurrection, there would be divisions for all eternity, for some came into His presence one way and some another. And it would be conceivable that those who were alive and were translated would go to different place than those who had been resurrected. It would raise the question as to whether the living, translated ones would ever see their loved ones who had died and would therefore meet the Lord by resurrection. It is evident that they had not grasped the teaching of John 14, for there the Lord Jesus told the Disciples that all believers would be in the Father's house.
Thus Paul needed to write to them to teach them concerning the relation of the living and the dead saints at the coming of Christ for His own.
Wayne McDoanld, Pastor
Next week, I will begin with verse 13 of 1 Thessalonians.