Paul wrote in, Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” And when he wrote to the Church in Thessalonica, he encouraged them to live holy lives because of his love toward the church and his hope for them to win the crown of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-7 reads, “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of strong sexual desire, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”
David prayed, “thy rod and thy staff comforts me” and so when we read Paul’s letter of hope and encouragement to the church in Thessalonica, we can understand it was a warning of how we are to live our lives so that we will enter the hope of Christ on the day of his return and not be ashamed. Because the hope of the saints was to see the return of Christ and those who went on ahead in glory on account of the faith.
Therefore, Paul wrote to encourage the church and to help them understand they will once again be with their loved ones and those who had passed on into glory before the return of Jesus Christ. Paul this to answer the question that was on the minds of the early church concerning those who had passed on before them.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 “I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so, shall we forever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
“Wherefore comfort one another with these words” Said Paul because we will once again be with our loved ones and we will not prevent the dead from entering the kingdom of God, but we shall all be with Christ at his coming.
Christ will bring with him those who had passed on before us, we shall be changed, and the dead in Christ shall be resurrected and we will meet Christ in the air, not taken away from the earth into heaven for a thousand years. We shall meet Christ in the air. Jude wrote in Jude 1:14, And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” And the reason for the Lord’s return with all his saints? Jude 1:15 “To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” And that is Jesus Christ.