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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #79
Posted: May 7, 2006

A Study of Positional Truths

Let us begin our IN CHRIST study of I Thessalonians 4:13-18 with an open Bible in hand.  This is one of the most often quoted texts at the funerals of God’s people.

In these six verses we find one IN CHRIST phrase found in verse 14 which says, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him

There are several lessons to be learned from this text that will help us in our darkest hours.  One is THE LESSON OF COMPARISON.  Paul takes leadership from Jesus’ teaching and compares death to one who is asleep.

Our Lord told His disciples when trying to explain the condition of Lazarus that he was asleep.  This is such a picture of rest and peace.  Let us not buy into the soul sleep taught by the cults.  Paul said, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord…”    This body looks to be asleep at death, but our soul is very much alive with Him and all five of our senses are operating when we enter the sleep of death.

In this precious text we find THE LESSON OF COMFORT.  There is always great comfort when we study the resurrection and soon coming of Christ.  The word ‘comfort’ means to call near for the purpose of exhorting or consoling.  Let these great truths constantly come up in our conversations with others.

We also find in the text THE LESSON OF CONQUEST.  Our Lord is going to descend (to come from a high and lofty place).  He comes by way of three announcements.  All three speak of conquest and victory.  The three descriptive words are “…a shout…”, “…the voice…”, and “…the trump…”   The word ‘shout’ is usually connected with victory throughout the Bible.  Gideon gave a shout in his conquest over the Midianites.  John tells us the shout will be “…come up hither…”  The voice of the archangel speaks of either Michael or Gabriel who are over the angels.  Then the trumpet of victory is that which our soul listens for with great anticipation.  It will begin the grand ceremonies of conquest.  The trumpet sound will bring the dead who sleep in Jesus from their grave.  Those who are alive will come next to meet the Lord in the air.  How could all of this be symbolic?

The phrase ‘in the air’ blesses me.  We are told that the devil is the god of the air.  Our Lord will glorify and change us right in the devil’s own front yard.

There is also in this text THE LESSON OF CONTINUANCE.   We are told in verse 17 “…so shall we ever be with the Lord”.   We will never be separated from our blessed Saviour again.

If you have ever arrived early to hear the orchestra play you will find those in the brass section warming up by licking the mouth piece ad clearing the moisture from their horns.  I feel that maybe Gabriel is licking the mouthpiece of his trumpet.  May we look up, our redemption draweth nigh.  O what comfort to know we are IN HIM!