Reading through the Bible together
chapters 4 and 5 Paul turns from the past to the future. There were things that
were lacking in the faith of the Thessalonian believers (1 Thess. 3:10). Paul
wants to help them remedy these deficits. The letter would begin the process,
but the project would not be complete until Paul and the Thessalonians could be
pleased when our character and our behavior are in line with His own character
and behavior (4:1-2). When we are kind and gracious we mirror the kind and
gracious character of God. When we abstain from sexual immorality, we show
respect for the value that God places on other people (4:3-8).
you live a “quiet life” in the midst of the city today (4:9-12)? There the pursuit of money, the pursuit of things,
and the pursuit of earthly relationships seem of utmost importance. Yet they
fail to satisfy over the long term. Only eternal values can provide peace in
the hustle and bustle of city life.
turns to end-time events in verses 13-18, not to establish all the details of
what will happen before the End, but to deal with a real-life situation of
hopeless grief. The key
theme of the passage is, perhaps, “togetherness.” The living and the dead are
carried up together so that they all can be “together” with the Lord. Neither
group had been “with the Lord” in quite this sense before. The answer to
hopeless grief is the hope of continued relationship throughout all eternity.
Loma Linda University