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Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18


The Return of Christ

Things Concerning Christ (#9)



1.  Jesus will return: Promised by Jesus (Jno. 14:3), angels (Acts 1:9-11) and apostles (1 Ths. 4:16).

2.  Where is the promise of His coming? 2 Pet. 3:4, 9

  a.  A day of wrath upon evil, 1 Ths. 5:1-3.

  b.  A day of glory for the righteous ones, 1 Ths. 5:9.



  A. Resurrection of all the Dead: The Last Enemy will be Subdued.

    1.  Promised by Jesus, Jno. 5:28-29 (last day, Jno. 6:39-40, 54).

    2.  “I am the Resurrection and the Life”, Jno. 11:23-27.

    3.  Death will be defeated, 1 Cor. 15:22-26; Rev. 20:14.

    4.  Bodily resurrection, 1 Cor. 15:35-49.

  B.  Judgment of All People, Matt. 25:31-33; Acts 17:30-31; Rom. 2:5-6; Rev. 20:11-13.

    1.  Personal accounting of words and deeds, Matt. 12:36; 2 Cor. 5:10.

    2.  Upon the basis of God’s word, Rev. 20:12; Jno. 12:48.

    3.  Sinners:

      a.  Did not do what they should have, Matt. 25:41-45; 2 Ths. 1:8.

      b.  Did what ought not be done, Rom. 2:8-9 (1 Cor. 6:9; Gal. 5:21).

    4.  Saints:

      a.  Do the will of God (what should be done), Matt. 7:21; 25:34-40.

      b.  Lived by faith, seeking heaven, Rom. 2:7, 10; 1 Pet. 1:4-9.

  C.  The Sentence will be Carried Out, Matt. 25:46.

    1.  Reward: Kingdom delivered to Father, 1 Cor. 15:24, 50, 57.

    2.  Punishment: Eternal Hell, 2 Ths. 1:8-9; Rom. 2:8-9; Mk. 9:43-44; Rev. 20:10, 15.

  D.  The Material World will be Burned Up, 2 Pet. 3:10.



  A.  Jesus Promised to Take Us to Heaven, Jno. 14:3-6.

    1.  To be where He is (3), where “I am” (3), where He went (4), where the Father is (6).

    2.  Doctrines that place Jesus back on earth violate His promise.

  B.  When  Jesus Comes the Earth will be no More, 2 Pet. 3:11-13.

  C.  Christians will be with Jesus in Heaven, not on Earth, 1 Ths. 4:17.



  A.  Our Hope is Secure, 4:13-15.

  B.  What We Know Will Happen and it Comforts Us! 4:16-18

    1.  Personal, visible return: Lord Himself will descend from heaven.

    2.  Audible return:

      a.  Shout: Command death to release captives (Jno. 5:28-29).

      b.  Voice of archangel: Cry of victory (2 Ths. 1:7).

      c.  Trumpet of God: Signal of liberty (Lev. 25:9-10) and gathering (Num. 10:3).

    3.  Order of the saints’ participation, 4:16-17:

      a.  Dead in Christ will arise “first” (cf. 4:15).

      b.  Living Christians will “caught up” (changed, 1 Cor. 15:52).

      c.  In this manner we will all, forever, be with the Lord.

    4.  Comfort one another, 4:18 (cf. 5:10-11).



1.  Though death comes to us here on earth, an eternal life awaits those who “have loved His appearing” (in the past and continue to do so until the day He returns – present tense), 2 Tim. 4:8.

2.  Love His (future, promised) appearing like Paul did, 2 Tim. 4:7.

“It is the love of understanding and comprehension, the eyes are open to see and not blind; and with the understanding it realizes the corresponding purpose concerning the epiphany. In love they knew what the promises of the Lord’s epiphany meant; in love they held to the purpose of having all the blessedness of that epiphany conferred upon them. They, of course, believed in that epiphany, and therefore they also ever loved it.” [1]

3.  And so, we “eagerly wait for Him” and the salvation He will bring (Heb. 9:28).


[1] Lenski, R. C. H. (1937). The interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians, to the Thessalonians, to Timothy, to Titus and to Philemon (pp. 865–866). Columbus, OH: Lutheran Book Concern.




By: Joe R. Price

Posted: October 9, 2014