Chapter 4:13-18

June 14, 2017


In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul continues to encourage the believers in Thessalonica and even consoles them. Some of the early Jesus-followers hoped and believed that Jesus would make his triumphant return before any of the believers died. However, Paul is writing it a time when, because of persecution, and the simple passage of time, some of the believers are dying and many others are becoming discouraged. In these verses, Paul reminds the believers that their hope is in Christ – the one who came, who lived and loved and served, who died on the cross, and who defeated death, having been resurrected in his human body. The fears that control us – the fear of missing out, the fear of failure, and many other fears – are, at their core, the fear of death. We are still tempted to be enslaved by it. But Paul reminds the believers in Thessalonica, and believers today, that even though death is part of our physical reality, we can grieve differently knowing that the outcome of our lives is not dependent on this world but on the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can remain steadfast, even in the face of persecution, because our hope – the absolute expectation of coming good – is in Jesus. Paul instructs the believers to “encourage on another with these words.” If our hope is in Jesus, then we can’t help but share it! Within the community of believers, in relationship with each other, we are called to encourage one another and to be encouraged by one another – to hold onto hope for each other in the midst of the trials that are sure to come.

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Bible References

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 19
  • Hebrews 2:11 - 11
  • Hebrews 2:14 - 15
  • 2 Corinthians 15:20 - 22