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Coming Soon--Heaven

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Introduction

In our passage today Paul is going to tell his readers to “encourage each other with these words.” In fact, he’s going to tell his readers to do this twice. Once in , and again in 5:11.
Any time something is repeated in Scripture it is incredibly important.
Now, you ought be asking, “What is so great that it should give us encouragement?” To find this answer we must look at the actual text. So if you have your Bibles, turn with me to .
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 NIV84
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

Jesus Is Coming Soon!

No ignorance.

The church at Thessalonica was a young church. Consequentially, they were not as mature in the Lord as others. Thus, they found themselves grieving deeply over those who had died.
KEY—grieving is natural! but there is a difference for the believer!

We have hope!

We have hope that we will one day be reunited with our loved one in heaven.

We believe that Jesus died and rose again.

We believe God will bring with Jesus those who have died.

Those who are still alive will not get to Heaven before those who have already died.

The Rapture will look like this:

Jesus will come down from heaven with a loud command.

The voice of the archangel will be heard.

The voice of the archangel will be heard.

The trumpet call of God will be heard.

The dead in Christ will rise first.

Then we who are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds.

So we will be with the Lord FOREVER!

Therefore encourage each other with these words!

When will the “rapture” happen?

1 Thessalonians 5:1–3 NIV84
Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
1 Thessalonians

What will the signs be?

It will come like a thief in the night.

It will come with people believe they are safe and secure.

Labor pain example

Christians are not in the darkness.

1 Thessalonians 5:4–11 NIV84
But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:

Don’t be surprised by Jesus’ return.

Don’t be caught sleeping, instead:

Be alert
Be self-controlled

The Contrast—those living in darkness:

Sleep at night
Get drunk at night

More about how we should live:

Be self-controlled
Putting on faith and love as a breastplate
Putting on the hope of salvation as a helmet
We were not appointed to endure God’s wrath
We have received “salvation” through our Lord Jesus
Whether we live or die we live together with Jesus

Therefore encourage one another & build each other up!

SO WHAT?

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME?

The “Rapture” should encourage!
The fact that we will spend eternity with Jesus should encourage us!
We need to be prepared for the rapture—because it could happen at any time!
We don’t know when it will happen, but it could be today!
We should be alert!
We should be self-controlled!
We should show faith.
We should show love.
We should show hope.
Remember we belong to Jesus!
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