"Concerning those who have fallen asleep..."
Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13
ANOTHER IMPORTANT ISSUE
Another important issue that arose concerns those who had died. Death was described euphemistically by the apostle as “sleep”. This was a term the Lord Jesus Himself used when He spoke about the death of Lazarus (John 11:11-14).
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning those who have fallen asleep,
lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13
1. “I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren”
a) The subject of death at any time is a difficult issue to comprehend.
b) Ignorance offers no relief to those who are sorrowing when death strikes.
c) Paul wanted to help the Thessalonian brethren to have deep knowledge concerning death.
2. “Concerning those who have fallen asleep”
a) The phrase “fallen asleep” is essentially a euphemism for death.
b) Why was the word “sleep” employed?
i) Not for fear of speaking of death.
ii) It was a word that Jesus Himself employed.
iii) Death may indeed be compared to sleep.
iv) As sleep is temporary so is death but a temporary state.
v) Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life and He can raise the dead (John 11:25).
3. “Lest you sorrow as others who have no hope”
a) Sorrow will be felt when a loved one dies.
b) Two types of sorrow must be distinguished:-
i) There is a sorrow that comes from a sense of hopelessness.
ii) There is a sorrow that is comforted by hope.
c) The sorrow that comes from having no hope.
i) Death is the final end.
ii) There is no hope of the resurrection of life
d) The believer in Christ
He will grieve and be in sorrow because of the death of a loved one. But he will find great comfort in hope of the resurrection. Death is not the final chapter. Death is correctly compared to mere sleep! Knowledge and certainty of hope in Christ will bring great comfort to the heart!