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Book of 1 Thessalonians
King James Version
Living to Please God
9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
Believers Who Have Died
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.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
Bible Commentary on verses 13 - 1713 Paul by the Holy Spirit is comforting those who know believers who have died. Note Paul says they have fallen asleep just as Jesus said Lazarus was asleep. He did not say they went home to be with the Lord. If that were true why would they need hope for those who had died, if they are with Jesus already what are you hoping for? Dead believers going to heaven is never implied or stated in this entire passage. The next verse will clear up what the hope is for.
15 This verse declares that those who are alive will not be raised into the heavens without those who have fallen asleep, at the Lord's coming.
16 Jesus is coming down from heaven where He has been for 2000 years preparing a place for us. He comes as He declared in His own words with the holy angels of God to gather His people to Himself. Clearly Paul declares the dead in Christ to be rising from their sleep. Jesus and the angels are coming down and the dead are rising.
17 This verse declares the all important hope that we have in Jesus. Paul says we the living will be caught up together with them who have been raised from the dead. We the living and the dead, all who have believed in Jesus will MEET Him in the air at His second coming.2
1. King James Authorized Version
2. Yeshua's Kingdom: Guiding Christians into eternity - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 - http://www. yeshuaskingdom. org/18.html
3. The Bible Says ... - http://www. projectrestore.com/ library/thishope/ 12_bible_says.htm
4. Matthew Henry Bible Commentary - http://eword. gospelcom.net /comments/ 1thessalonians/mh /1thessalonians5.htm
5. The Adam Clarke Commentary - http://www.studylight .org/com/acc/view .cgi?book=1th& chapter=004&verse =001#1Th4_1