1 Thessalonians 4 Reading Guide

Dig In:

Chapter Overview:

  • v1-8 - Christians are to live a live that pleases God (v1).

  • In theological terms, this means that our lives are in a constant process of 'sanctification (v3).'

  • Becoming sanctified means looking more and more like Christ in all parts of your life, and less and less "like the pagans, who do not know God (v5)."

  • v9-12 - Christians should be known as people who lead quiet, peaceful lives, minding their own business and working hard. This will win the respect of our communities.

  • v13-18 - One of the biggest reasons we must read God's Word each day is so that we "do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope (v13)." We need regular reminders that:

  • Jesus died and rose again;

  • Jesus will return with "those who have fallen asleep in him (v14)."

  • Christ's return will be unmissable (loud and public). When He returns:

  • "the dead in Christ will rise first (v16)."

  • After that, all Christians still living "will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (v17)."

  • These words are given for our peace and encouragement (v18).

Dig Deeper:

There's a tension regarding our good works in the New Testament. On the one hand, we're saved fully by grace, and not by our own efforts. Stacking up enough good deeds does not get you into heaven.

On the other hand, once you've been justified (declared righteous), there's an expectation that you begin to look the way you've been declared to be.