1 Thessalonians 4
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
I have always enjoyed reading the Chronicles of Narnia. As I read them, I love to compare the story to what is written in the Bible. Of all the books in the series, my favorite is The Last Battle. I love seeing the old characters, the Pensieves, returning to the series. 1st Thessalonians 4 is describing the time when people come back into the story, just like the Pensieves coming back into the Chronicles of Narnia.
Verse 17 says, “Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” Can you imagine being able to see the dead in Christ? There will be the reunions to loved ones and the meeting of the heroes of faith. In The Last Battle, those who were still alive at the very end are excited to meet Lord Diggory and Lady Polly because they were in Narnia in the very beginning. But, even more, they loved meeting their old relatives and friends.
While seeing the dead in Christ will be great, there is an even better promise in verse 17: “We shall always be with the Lord.” We get to spend eternity with the Lord! That is a great promise that we can look forward to the fulfillment of. We know that when the kingdom comes, it will be a life beyond comparison. A life that none of us will ever be able to even start to imagine.
The Last Battle ends with these few sentences: “[T]he things that happened after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
The lives of Peter, Edmund, and Lucy as they were written in the earlier books, with the amazing adventures in the land of Narnia, was nothing to compare with their life in the new Narnia. They were beginning an even better book which no one on earth will ever read, where life just gets better and better. We have this to look forward to where we also will have such amazing lives in the kingdom that they will be nothing to compare to this life. There is an even better story coming that we can’t even begin to fathom!
Questions to Discuss and Reflect Upon
- What order of events does Paul relate to the Thessalonians in chapter 4 so that they will not be, “uninformed about those who sleep in death” (verse 13) ? Is this the same or different as what you hear at most Christian funerals? Could it be there are many today uninformed about those who sleep in death?
- What are you most looking forward to at the time of Jesus’ return? Remembering this, how will it change your day today?
- After telling the Thessalonians what they have to look forward to, Paul said to, “Encourage one another with these words” (vs 18). How can you do that today?