1 Thessalonians 4:13-15 (JDV)
1 Thessalonians 4:13 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope
1 Thessalonians 4:14 because if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
1 Thessalonians 4:15 You see, we say this to you by a word from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep
in the same way
Paul wanted the Thessalonian Christians to know that their dead would not be abandoned. They were presently asleep, but their sleep was not to be an eternal one. Christ was raised from the dead, and they would have victory over death in the same way.
Now, there are those who teach that believers have victory over death in a different way. They follow a long-standing tradition that teaches that death is not really death, but a crossing the Jordon to eternal life immediately after death. That was not how Jesus got victory over death. He stayed in that tomb until he was raised from it.
And that is the way that Paul says the Thessalonian Christians will find their victory. He told them that “the Lord himself will descend from the sky with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise…” (verse 16).
Lord, we thank you for the promise of a resurrection just like Jesus experienced, and an eternal victory over death like his.