The Resurrection of Church-Age Believers
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

© 2006 Steve Lewis -


Know the truth so that you will not behave like unbelievers (1 Thess. 4:13)

The Seven Resurrections in Scripture

  1. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the first resurrection (see Matt. 28:1-7; Mark 16:1-11; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18)
  2. Shortly after the resurrection of Christ, some other tombs were opened and several "holy people" were raised (see Matt. 27:50-53)
  3. The resurrection of Church-age believers before the beginning of the Tribulation period (see John 14:3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:50-53)
  4. During the Tribulation, God's two witnesses will be raised (see Rev. 11:11-12)
  5. The Tribulation martyrs will be resurrected so that they can rule and reign with Christ (see Rev. 20:4-6)
  6. Old Testament saints will be resurrected to enter the millennial kingdom (see Dan. 12:1-2; Isa. 26:19; Ezek. 37:13-14)
  7. At the end of the millennial reign of Christ, the final resurrection will consist of all of the unbelieving, wicked dead. They will be found guilty at the Great White Throne judgment and cast into the lake of fire (see Rev. 20:11-15)

The resurrection of Church-age saints is based on the resurrection of Christ (1 Thess. 4:14)

Paul gives them the truth -- the "Word of the Lord" (1 Thess. 4:15)

The Lord will descend only so far, then we will rise to meet Him (1 Thess. 4:16-17)

Contrasts between the Rapture and the Second Coming

Christ comes in the air for His own Christ comes to the earth with His own
Translated Church-age believers go to heaven Translated believers return to earth
Christians taken to the Father's house (heaven) Christians come with Christ to establish an earthly kingdom
No judgment on the earth Christ judges the inhabitants of the earth
Imminent -- could happen at any moment Cannot occur until many events have transpired
Time of joy and reward for believers only Time of mourning and judgment for earthly humanity
Occurs before the "day of wrath" (Tribulation) Occurs after the Tribulation
No mention of Satan Satan bound for 1000 years
Only Christ's own will see Him Every eye will see Him
The Tribulation will shortly begin The Millennial Kingdom begins
Not predicted in the Old Testament Clearly predicted in detail in the OT

Correct doctrine has the power to comfort and encourage believers (1 Thess. 4:18)

Points of Application: