1 Thessalonians Chapter 4

Introduction: Now & Later

When I was a kid, I could always count on my Dad stopping at a convenience store for snacks.  One of my favorites growing up were the Now & Later candies. Apparently they have their name because you’ll enjoy them now and want some more later. I usually just enjoyed mine in the now and didn’t worry much about the later.

Paul combines these two aspect of time in our chapter this week. What we do now impacts the later. How we view the later often impacts what we do now. With this in mind, Paul discusses three important characteristics which believers should embody in the now (1-12) – purity (1-7), love (9-10), and life (11-12). Then, wanting to clear confusion among the church about the later, he speaks about the resurrection and rapture of God’s people (13-18).

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Journey Through John – Chapter 20-21

The resurrection of Christ is the most pivotal moment in all of history. It is the climactic event our faith in Christ as Redeemer is validated and the moment which all of our Christian faith relies upon. In this session we see John’s portrait of the resurrected Christ.

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith (1 Cor. 15.14).

In short, I didn’t become a Christian because God promised I would have an even happier life than I had as an atheist. He never promised any such thing. Indeed, following him would inevitably bring divine demotions in the eyes of the world. Rather, I became a Christian because the evidence was so compelling that Jesus really is the one-and-only Son of God who proved his divinity by rising from the dead. That meant following him was the most rational and logical step I could possibly take. – Lee Strobel

The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation. – John MacArthur

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Journey Through John – Chapter 11

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is 1 Peter 5:7. It reads, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” I like it because it tells us that God is concerned about us. Our problems, no matter how large or how small do not go unnoticed by God’s sovereign hand. It gives me comfort. It gives me hope.

All of us have different problems. Some things that really bother one person may not be a concern for another. Some people seem to sail through life trial-free, while others seem to always draw the short straw. Difficulties come in a rainbow of colors with great variance in severity.

However, there is one problem that we all face. It is our biggest problem. Death. 1 Cor. 15:26 describes death as our enemy – An enemy defeated by Christ.

“The victorious Christ is the greatest disruption, the striking off of shackles from a fettered world. He liberates us from the cruel facts of our existence in this present world. He is the end of death itself.” – Joshua John Mackin. www.firstthings.com. “Death, Our Enemy”. 

John 11 gives us a picture of Jesus’ power over the enemy of death.

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