Do not sorrow….even as others
A little background is necessary:
The Thessalonians were a strong and loving church. They had been established by Paul under persecution….
….yet they manifested love to each other and all around them in Macedonia.
This is marvelous……the trials and persecution did not come between them and their Lord, but pushed them closer to Him.
Yet they had a sorrow.
Paul had told them of the coming of Christ for His church…..that they were to watch for themselves……..so they would be ready for His return.
And they had…..they were faithful and watchful.
But some of those who had first believed had died….
…and those who were alive wondered about them.
Would they see Christ come for them?
Paul wrote back….giving the Word of the Lord for them…..a revelation from the Lord to Paul, for all of us.
“Do not sorrow….even as others who have no hope.”
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain shall not prevent them which are asleep.
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.”
Though their bodies sleep in the earth….their souls are with Christ in heaven.
So that when He comes to rapture His church…..they will come with Him….and their bodies shall rise and come together with their souls…
…..and we, who are alive shall be caught up to meet Him in the skies!
Notice, the name Paul uses here….”the Lord”. It was a favorite name of Paul…for remember when Christ Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus….he said…
….”Who art thou Lord?”, And “Lord, what would you have me to do?”
(In the name “Lord”, is defined One who is Superior…..One who rules….One who can speak and it will be done.
And when we say “Lord”…..we should be acknowledging that Christ are these things to us….as Paul did)
Paul gave his life to the Lord that day…..and proclaimed His goodness and mercy from that day forth.
Notice also, “The Lord, Himself shall descend from heaven”…..
….Christ Jesus will not send an angel….no, not even the highest form of angels to meet His beloved church when they come from their workplace of earth….
….but the Lord Himself shall come to meet us!
There will be a trumpet sound.
When God assembled the congregation of the children of Israel….there was a trumpet sound
Numbers 10:2-3 “Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and or the journeying of the camps.
And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”
We shall all come…..assembling with the Lord….caught up to ever be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:18 “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
We should not sorrow….as others that have no hope…..
Death can not separate us from the promises of God…..for Christ has overcome death,……as well as sin. (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)
But we are to “watch”…..be ready…..be waiting….be awake.
1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”
To be sober here is to refrain from selfish indulgences…..which hinder our readiness….and keep us looking other places than at Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:8 “But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.”
The armor spoken of here is only defensive….(in Ephesians 6:10-18 it is offensive as well)….
….it is speaking of guarding our inward life….
…..that we will be growing in grace….and ready for Christ’s coming.
The breastplate covers our heart and it’s affections.
The helmet covers our mind and it’s reasons and imaginations.
These are to be guarded if we are to walk in the Light.
And what is our armor here? Faith is our foundation grace…..uniting us with Christ our Rock.
Love is our motive…..For we love Him, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)
These….if we are using them…..guards our hearts.
Hope…..the confident expectation that God will do what He says…..guards out minds.
Hope of salvation is the Holy Spirit reminding us that God is working all things to bring us to the fullness of our salvation…..within….and one day, with Him….as He has said.
It guards our thoughts.
1 Thessalonians 5:6 “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”
We are not to sorrow as others who have no hope…..for our God has a plan and a purpose for each of us….
…He will come for us,…and we will rise to meet Him in the air.
We are to watch, using the means the Lord has provided (faith, love, and hope)…..in these dark times……so that our inner life will be kept for the joy and enjoyment of our Lord.