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Grave Optimism

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Grave Optimism

Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NIV)

13 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. 14 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. 15 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. 16 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. 17 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. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.

I.       Introduction:

We Face the Condition of Death

A.    A Hopeful Condition Based on Facts

1.      Facts Concerning Death

2.      Facts Concerning Grief

a)      Grief Unlike Others

b)      Grief Eased by Hope

B.     A Hopeful Condition Resting in Faith

1.      Faith Required

a)      Faith in the Sacrificial Death of Christ

b)      Faith in the Bodily Resurrection of Christ

2.      Faith Rewarded

a)      Those in Christ Return from Death

b)      Those in Christ Return With Christ

II.    We Anticipate The Coming of the Rapture

A.    A Credible Source of Information

1.      The Witness of Paul

2.      The Words of Christ

B.     A Comforting Truth about the Dead

1.      The Dead Not Deprived

2.      The Living Not Privileged

C.     A Combined Meeting In the Air

1.      Announced

2.      Assembled

a)      The Resurrection of the Dead

b)      The Rapture of the Living

c)      The Reunion with the Lord

III. We Possess Courage In the Face of Death

A.    Gaining Courage By the Truth

B.     Gaining Courage From Each Other

IV. Conclusion:

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