Rev. David Appold, pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Paducah, KY, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Only Christians have true comfort in the face of death. While those who do not trust in Christ for salvation may attempt to avoid the subject of death or write it off as just another part of life, Christians grieve as those who have hope. Such grief acknowledges death as an enemy Christ has defeated. His death and resurrection have established His reign over all things and all people, even those who have died. For that reason, St. Paul writes with confidence to the Thessalonians that those who have died before Christ’s return are not apart from His care. That will be made plain on the Last Day, when Christ returns. He will descend bodily and visibly, commanding the dead to rise from their graves. The voice of an archangel and the sound of God’s trumpet will ring forth. The dead in Christ will rise first, and then those Christians who are alive at the time will meet Jesus in the clouds together with Him, The upshot is beautifully simple: we will always be with the Lord. This pure doctrine concerning Christ’s return and the resurrection of the body is the source of great comfort for all Christians.
“Christ Is Surely Coming” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that journeys through the two epistles to the Thessalonians. Through these two letters, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy encouraged the young church in Thessalonica to stand firm in the midst of persecution as they eagerly waited for Christ’s second coming. This Word of God still strengthens the Church today to live now with faith, hope, and love, even as we long for the Day of Christ’s return, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The Coming of the Lord
13 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. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,[a] that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 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. 17 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. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:15 Or by the word of the Lord
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.