Good News About The Rapture



But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18, ESV


After kids, I have learned to take naps. I used to stay up late and slept in, once we started having kids that all ended. There were the sleepless nights when the twins would not go down and Leslie needed my help. I can remember in seminary, I painted houses, mowed yards, and worked at a church just to pay the bills. I often recall taking naps on my lunch breaks for 5-10 minutes. Or falling asleep on the light rail. Naps are nice. In 10-15 minutes you can wake and feel rested.

As believers, death is like a nap, that’s why the word cemetery, means resting place. It’s just a place our bodies are resting. Some have taken this passage to mean that the soul is asleep, but we know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:8) In Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica, he’s writing to comfort them concerning their confusion regarding end time events.


First, he encourages them to hold on to hope. (vs. 13) Secondly, he reminds them of the gospel, and how we are sharing in that good news that all believers in the church age, that’s during the time of the birth of the church up until the time of the rapture, will be raised again (vs. 14).  This can be clearly seen for Paul’s mention of those “In Christ” in verse 14.  Thirdly, we see that he reassures them of this by saying this is  “from the Lord” In doing so he is authenticating the message. It’s 100% divine and authoritative word from God and they can trust it. (vs 15) Fourthly, we see that the apostle Paul clarifies the order of this resurrection and rapture. (vs. 15-17). First, all church age believers will be raised and reunited with their physical bodies, then within an instant, all the living will be raptured as well. So there is a simultaneous and instantaneous event taking place. A resurrection of dead church age believers and a rapture of living believers. Fifthly, Paul intended this message to give hope and encouraging news to these concerned believers. This message would have comforted the many families who had lost loved ones from plagues, pandemics, and persecutions that were common in the first century. 


In closing, let’s examine a little more closely the good news that the Apostle Paul wanted these concerned Christians to understand. 

#1 The rapture means we will be with the Lord. For there is not a home in heaven without Jesus.  It is the Lord himself that is coming for us. (vs.16 ). God is not sending a falcon jet or an archangel. He’s not sending Airforce One. He’s coming down from heaven, where he sits at the right hand side of the father right now, he’s coming for you and for all those believe or ever believed in times past. 

#2 The rapture means we will be together. It’s great to be with God and there is no other greater delight than to be in God’s presence. But what makes this event even better is that we will be together! (vs.17).

#3 The rapture means we have hope and encouraging news to share. This is why Paul says. “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” (vs.13 ) Then again in his closing statement.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (vs18)


God’s word instructs us that we ought to be encouraging others about this event. Who do you need to encourage? Take a moment to pray for them and make a plan to talk with them.



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