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                "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS"

                              Chapter Four

OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER

1) To understand how the Christian should increase more and more in 
   such matters as obedience, holiness, love, and diligence

2) To appreciate the precious hope and comfort we have for those who 
   have died in Christ

SUMMARY

With this chapter Paul begins a series of apostolic instructions
related to the Christian's walk in holiness, especially in view of the
coming of Christ.  Urging them to abound more and more so that they 
might please God, he first focuses on their sanctification and the need
to abstain from sexual immorality (1-8).  He then urges them to 
increase more and more in brotherly love, even though they had been 
taught by God to love another and did so toward all the brethren 
throughout Macedonia (9-10).  That they might walk properly toward 
outsiders, he urges them to lead quiet lives, mind their own business, 
and to work with their own hands (11-12).

Paul then addresses the matter of those who have fallen asleep in 
Jesus.  He did not want the Thessalonians to sorrow over them as others
who have no hope.  For just as God raised Jesus from the dead, even so
He would bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus (13-14).  This leads
to a description of the Lord's coming, especially as it relates to how
those who are alive and remain until His coming will in no way precede 
those who have died.  Indeed, when the Lord comes from heaven, the dead
in Christ will rise first, and we who are alive and remain will at that
time be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, to be
with Him forever.  Christians should therefore comfort one another with
these words (15-18).

OUTLINE

I. WALK IN HOLINESS (1-8)

   A. TO PLEASE GOD (1-2)
      1. An exhortation in the Lord Jesus to abound more and more (1)
      2. According to the commandments Paul gave them through the Lord
         Jesus (2)

   B. TO ABSTAIN FROM SEXUAL IMMORALITY (3-8)
      1. For this is the will of God, their sanctification (3)
      2. That each one know how to posses his own vessel (4-5)
         a. In sanctification and honor (4)
         b. Not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know
            God (5)
      3. That no one take advantage of and defraud his brother in this
         matter (6)
         a. Because the Lord is the avenger of such things (6a)
         b. As Paul forewarned and testified (6b)  
      4. For God called us in holiness, not to uncleanness (7)
      5. To reject this is to reject God, who has also given us His 
         Holy Spirit (8)

II. WALK IN LOVE (9-10)

   A. AS TAUGHT BY GOD (9)
      1. Concerning brotherly love, Paul really did not need to write
         anything (9a)
      2. For they were taught by God to love one another (9b)

   B. TO INCREASE MORE AND MORE (10)
      1. Indeed, their love was manifest toward all the brethren 
         throughout Macedonia (10a)
      2. Yet Paul urges them to increase in their love even more (10b)

III. WALK IN DILIGENCE (11-12)

   A. TO WORK WITH THEIR HANDS (11)
      1. They should aspire to lead quiet lives, to mind their own 
         business (11a)
      2. Working with their own hands, as Paul commanded them (11b)

   B. TO WALK PROPERLY TOWARD OUTSIDERS (12)
      1. Conducting themselves properly toward those outside (12a)
      2. So that they may lack nothing (12b)

IV. WALK IN HOPE (13-18)

   A. WITH NO SORROW CONCERNING THOSE WHO HAVE DIED (13-14)
      1. Paul does not want them to be ignorant (13)
         a. Concerning those who have fallen asleep (13a)
         b. Lest they sorrow as others who have no hope (13b)
      2. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God
         will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus (14)

   B. FOR WE SHALL BE REJOINED WITH THEM WHEN CHRIST RETURNS (15-18)
      1. Those who are alive when Christ comes will not precede those
         who are asleep (15)
         a. The Lord Himself will descend from heaven (16)
            1) With a shout
            2) With the voice of an archangel
            3) With the trumpet of God
         b. And the dead in Christ will rise first (16b)
      2. Then we who are alive and remain... (17)
         a. Shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet
            the Lord (17a)
         b. And thus we shall always be with the Lord (17b)
      3. Therefore comfort one another with these words (18)

REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER

1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Walk in holiness (1-8)
   - Walk in love (9-10)
   - Walk in diligence (11-12)
   - Walk in hope (13-18)

2) What did Paul urge and exhort them in the Lord Jesus to do? (1)
   - To abound more and more

3) What is the will of God regarding our sanctification? (3)
   - To abstain from sexual immorality

4) What should each person do regarding "his own vessel"? (4-5)
   - Possess it in sanctification and honor
   - Not in passion of lust, like Gentiles who do not know God

5) Why should we be careful not to defraud our brother in this matter?
   (6-7)
   - Because the Lord is the avenger of all such things
   - For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness

6) If we reject Paul's warning, who is it we are really rejecting? (8)
   - God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit

7) Why did Paul not need to write to the Thessalonians about brotherly
   love?  Yet what does he urge them? (9-10)
   - Because they were taught by God to love one another
   - Because they showed love toward all the brethren throughout
     Macedonia
   - To increase more and more

8) What three things does Paul encourage them to do in order to walk
   properly toward outsiders and be lacking in nothing? (11-12)
   - Aspire to lead quite lives
   - Mind their own business
   - Work with their own hands   

9) Why did Paul not want them to be ignorant concerning those who have
   fallen asleep? (13)
   - Lest they sorrow as those who have no hope

10) Who will God bring with Jesus? (14)
   - Those who sleep in Jesus

11) What is said of those who are alive and remain until the coming of
    the Lord? (15)
   - They will by no means precede those who are asleep

12) List the order of events that will occur when Jesus comes again 
    (16-17)
   - The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the
     voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God
   - The dead in Christ will rise first
   - We who are alive shall be caught up together with them in the
     clouds to meet the Lord in the air
   - Thus we shall always be with the Lord

13) In view of these coming events, what we should we do? (18)
   - Comfort one another with these words
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