“Ignorance is bliss.” In what subject areas? How do you know if you don’t know?
Paul and his fellow missionaries Silas and Timothy were not content to have the new converts ignorant or uninformed about matters of doctrine and practice. False teachers prey on ignorance. The early months post-conversion are vulnerable weeks for new believers. Intentional disciple-makers anticipate this and begin the process of teaching obedience from day one.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed, about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” (1 Thess 4:13)
What’s the topic on the table? The destiny of those believers who die before Christ returns.
What impact will an incorrect understanding generate? Grief like those who do not possess genuine faith.
The key difference between believers and unbelievers is the reality of hope. This hope is not a ‘fingers crossed’ I hope so, but a solid confidence resting on the reality of who Jesus Christ is and what He has accomplished on behalf of those whose trust is in Him. Notice how Paul continues…
“For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
The death of Jesus Christ is a reality.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a reality.
The return of Jesus Christ is a reality.
These doctrinal realities have practical consequences. We come to see these clearly when we trust in Christ and God reveals these truths to us.
We’ll pick up here in our next post as we work through this hope-filled passage.