December 9, 2018
We continue beginning with 1 Thess: 13 on the Subject of the Resurrection and Second Coming of Christ for His Church from "Did Jesus Jesus Happen" (The Life of Christ)
Paul begins with vs. 13 of 1 Thess by saying, "I would not you to be ignorant brethren." Now when Paul says he didn't want them to be ignorant, it meant that they were ignorant but he didn't want them to continue in their ignorance any longer. Thus he is writing to dispel their ignorance. What a blessing their ignorance has brought to us! To dissipate their ignorance he says, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again (and we certainly do believe that), even so them also which sleep in Jesus, God will bring with Him." This is the first point of His comforting consolation: There will not be a single believer on whom death has laid its hand who will be left in the grave when the Lord Jesus Christ comes. We sing, "Death cannot keep his prey". Why? Because Jesus Christ is the victor over death. If, at the coming of Christ and the resurrection of believers, the body of one single believer were left behind, Satan would have won a victory. We would go further and say that if one has had the misfortune to lose a finger, and if, in the resurrection, the finger was left behind, Satan again would have won the victory, but it would be a victory. So Paul is showing us her the fact that int he resurrection all those who are asleep in Jesus, God must bring to Himself by resurrection.
By what process will both living and dead saints be translated? Verses 15-17 of 1 Thess. give the climatic revelation concerning the process by which the Church will meet the Lord in the air.. "For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede, have a head start on) them which are asleep." It would seem as though the living ones certainly would have a little head start on those who must come from the graves. But the Apostle Paul say that when we go to meet the Lord, the living ones will have no advantage.
The reason follow: "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
Next week, I will continue with the three phrases: a shout, the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God.
Wayne McDoanld, Pastor