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 Gods
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
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 devils own front
There is also in
this text THE LESSON OF CONTINUANCE. We are told in verse 17
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!