The Blessed Hope

This is a series of study notes from a Sunday school class in 2014.  This page is an outline for the entire study. This is a study guide, and I encourage all readers to study every word of the scriptures cited.

Click on a link at the bottom of the page for the studies in the series:

  • Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. [1Co 15:50-58 ]
    • Notice that some will not die
    • All will be changed-For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself. [Phl 3:20-21]
    • It will be instantaneous
    • It is the time of the resurrection of the saints
    • Death is defeated by victory in the risen and living Lord from Heaven
    • The exhortation: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
  • But 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 ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. [1Th 4:13-18]
    • Death is not the final destination for those “sleeping in Jesus”
    • The dead in Christ will rise first when the Lord descends to the clouds to call
    • If we die before this event, we will in no way miss it. This event is known as “the Rapture”.  See the study ἁρπάζω (harpazō)
    • Paul had the expectation that he would remain unto this coming of the Lord
    • This will be our re-uniting with the saints
  • The saints are those who make up the Church which is His Body
    • Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; [1Th 1:3]
    • … how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. [1Th 1:9-10]
      • For the GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH IS COME; AND WHO SHALL BE ABLE TO STAND? [Rev 6:17]
      • This hope is the coming of the Lord for us.
    • As the first epistle to the Thessalonians is the epistle of “the blessed hope”, it should be no surprise that every chapter contains a reference to “the coming of the Lord”
      • And to wait for his Son from heaven, Whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. [1Th 1:10]
      • For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? [1Th 2:19]
      • To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. [1Th 3:13]
      • [1Th 4:13-18]-already referenced above
      • But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. [1Th 5:8-11]
    • The Day of the Lord=the great day of His wrath: For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [1Th 5:2-3]
      • Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. [Joe 1:15]
      • Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; [Joe 2:1]
      • Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? [Isa 2:10-22]
      • Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? [Amo 5:18-20]
      • The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. [Zep 1:14-18]
      • For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. [Mal 4:1]
      • And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; When he shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed ) in that day. [2Th 1:7-10]
      • The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; [Isa 61:1-2]–see Luke 4:18-19: The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  Note that the “day of vengeance” is omitted by the Lord when He read this.  He picks that up later:  For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. [Luk 21:22]
      • This is the subject of Matthew 24 and the entire book of the Revelation.
    • The great day of His wrath will not overtake believers in the Lord Jesus- But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. [1Th 5:4-11]
      • For the helmet of salvation, see also Eph 6:17. In this passage, the helmet is the “hope of salvation” (vs. 8)
      • We have no appointment with wrath (vs. 9)
      • Our appointment is to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, whether awake or sleeping (vs. 9)
      • Our appointment is living together with Him (vs. 10)
    • The signs of the end of “our age”
      • But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. [1Th 5:1]
      • This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. [2Ti 3:1-7]
      • I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. [2Ti 4:1-4]
      • From all this, nothing is standing in the way, prophetically, for the Lord to take us to Him immediately. We are just waiting for Him to decide the time.
    • So our behavior during this time:
      • And to wait for his Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, Which delivered us from the wrath to come. [1Th 1:10]
      • And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. [1Th 3:12-13]
      • 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 concupiscence, 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 hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, Who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit. [1Th 4:1-8]
      • And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. [1Th 4:11-12]
      • Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. [2Th 2:1-2]
      • But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, Which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. [2Th 2:13-17]
      • For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. [Tit 2:11-14]
        • We should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts
        • We should live-soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world
        • We should live-looking for that blessed hope, and the GLORIOUS APPEARING OF THE GREAT GOD AND OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST
      • For more on this, see The Anticipating Life
    • To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. [2Co 5:19] God is now:
      • Reconciling the world unto Himself
      • Not imputing trespasses
      • The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. [2Pe 3:9]
      • Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [1Ti 2:4]

God is ruling now on the “throne of grace”, BUT grace will not continue forever.  It will be followed by THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH.  To quote John the Baptist:  who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? [Mat 3:7]

The scriptures of the prophets are doing just that, warning to flee from the wrath to come.  Paul’s epistles are teaching the hope of the Body of Christ while God is reigning in grace.  The great day of His wrath will be fierce, and it is the great wrath of Him who stands at the door and knocks.  The same hands will that will open the seven seals also bear nail prints.  Those nail prints are there on our behalf:

CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS

BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND YOU WILL BE SAVED

  1. Paul’s Teaching on the “Last Days”
  2. ἁρπάζω (harpazō)
  3. The Anticipating Life

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