www.InformingChristians.com
-

 

 


1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 - Dead In Christ Shall Rise First 
Verse 16 in context.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 is confused by many people who think it is saying that believers who have died already are not in heaven yet. This is despite the fact that scripture elsewhere tells us believers that to be out of the body is to be with the Lord. They think this scripture is saying they rise the day of the rapture just before believers who are still alive on earth are caught up. However that is not what this scripture is saying at all. --
This scripture is actually speaking of those who have already died and are currently with Jesus. I will explain. There are five verses that need to be read here in order to understand what is being said. They are posted down below.

It was common for people back then to refer to the dead as being asleep. It was a softer way of saying dead, like we say "passed on." Verse 13 is showing us that when a believer in Christ dies we do not have to be in sorrow, as when nonbelievers die, those who have no hope.

(Verse 14) Just as those of us who are still here for the rapture believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead, so too do those who "sleep in Jesus" believe (they who God (Jesus) will bring with him.) --Notice verse 14 says "bring with him." They are currently with Jesus, so that when he returns, he will bring them with him. He will bring with him those who "sleep in Jesus." ...those who died in Christ, as appose to those who died rejecting Christ. --Sleep in Christ = Died in Christ

This scripture was reassuring the people who were still here, that their loved ones who "sleep in Jesus" (the ones who died believing in Jesus) that they are already with Jesus and that Jesus would bring them with him in the sky when he returns.

Verse 15 says that those of us who are here when Jesus returns will not "prevent" the ones who are asleep (dead). Prevent in this text means to go before. This is saying the people here when Jesus returns will not go before those believers who have already died, that they will already be with Jesus. (Verse 16)

Read verses 16 and 17 together.

The Lord is going to come down from heaven: and the dead in Christ shall rise first (first as in BEFORE) Jesus comes down from heaven. THEN we that are alive and remain here will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. --Jesus is not going to be on land at that time, but rather in the sky, in the air.

Hear it the way a person might talk today: Jesus is going to return. Those believers who died already will have already risen first (before) Jesus returns. Jesus is going to bring them with him in the sky. Then those of us believers who are still here when Jesus returns will be caught up together (all at once) with them (those who came back with Jesus) in the clouds. And we who are caught up together will then meet the Lord and will forever be with the Lord.

Also, look at the word "then" as meaning "at that time". At that time (when Jesus returns) 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. --Remember this scripture was actually all about reassuring the people that those who died in Christ before the rapture were/are currently with him.

Don't look at it like three events happening in the order that they are listed in the two verses, but rather the meaning of what is written in the two verses and in the context of all five verses. And you will then see it as how two events happen in regards to the main event, Jesus' return.

1st - The asleep in Christ rise first (upon each individual's death) before Jesus' return.

2nd - Jesus returns with those who sleep in Him.

3rd - Then, at the time of Jesus' return those of us believers who are still alive here on earth will all be caught up together to be with them who Jesus brings with him and to be with the Lord, all in the sky.

This scripture is actually saying the exact opposite of what you were thinking. It is saying they are with the Lord now, before Jesus returns.

The scripture is below.

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 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 them which are asleep.

16 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:

17 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
 


Debra J.M. Smith 07-16-16
www.InformingChristians.com  


Home



 Debra J.M. Smith