Thinking of the Rapture
1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
New Testament believers expected the day of judgment to come within their lifetime, so much so that people in the Thessalonian Church were afraid that their loved ones who had already died would miss it altogether. This fear is what prompts Paul to write more explicitly about the Lord’s return. He explains, “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.” He writes to inform so that the church might live in the hope derived from that information. The details of the Lord’s return give us hope and we are to encourage each other with these words. Do you know what encourage means? It means to fill with courage in the face of difficulty. How are we to do that? With news of the Lord’s return. So what does the Lord’s return tell us? It speaks of our destiny, our destination and the death of death.