08: The Dead in Christ – Teaching Plan

Key Thought : Paul corrects a number of misconceptions about the state of the dead and the second coming of Christ to the Thessalonians that can help us today.

[Teaching plan for “The Dead in Christ” August 20, 2012]

1. Have a volunteer read I Thessalonians 4:13,14.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. What does it mean that those who sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him? Is this saying He will bring their souls back to get their bodies?
C. Personal Application: How does your faith in the second coming of Christ affect your ability to cope with the concept of death for a believing relative or friend? What about an unbelieving friend or relative?
D. Case Study: One of your relatives states, “Is Paul telling the Thessalonians not to be sorrowful their loved one die? How can anyone be happy when they lose someone in their family to death?” How would you respond to your relative?

2. Have a volunteer read I Corinthians 15:20-23.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. What does it mean by the firstfruits? Is Christ the firstfruits, or were there others that were raised with Him that are part of the firstfruits? Share.
C. Personal Application: Would you rather be alive or sleeping when Christ comes in the resurrection? Share your reasons.?
D. Case Study: One of your friends states, “When we die, our spirit goes back to God which gave it. In that sense, Christ resurrects us from this evil earthly body into a pure spiritual form. We are saved from this body of death. ” How would you respond to your friend?

3. Have a volunteer read I Thessalonians 4:15,16.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. What if Jesus came to the earth and walked around on it for awhile. Would this Scripture be true? Share.
C. Personal Application: How does the second coming of Christ and His manner of coming bring comfort to you and to fellow church members? Share.
D. Case Study: One of your neighbors states, “What are these clouds that we are caught up in? Most clouds are not solid, but I heard a song about Christians sitting on a cloud and playing a harp. Is this literal?” How do you respond to your neighbor?
(Note: See Psalm 104:3 with Psalm 68:17 and Matthew 24:31)

4. Have a volunteer read I Thessalonians 4:9-12.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. What does Paul mean that we should not “prevent” them which are asleep? How could we prevent them if they rise first?
C. Personal Application: How does this passage counterdict the idea that Jesus is coming secretly and silently in a rapture? Share.
D. Case Study: Think of one person who needs to hear a message from this week’s lesson. Tell the class what you plan to do this week to share with them.

(Note: “Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue. Its blessings can be retained only as it is shared.” MH p. 149)

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08: The Dead in Christ – Teaching Plan — 8 Comments

  1. The lesson is thought-provoking. But it was discussed simply and straight to the point. What seemed to be an entanglement of thoughts are simply connected cords that serve as a ladder to life everlasting. "be of good cheer." those who lived and died for Christ are assured of living with God through eternity. There's nothing more a Christian would hope for than to live with the family of God; better yet, as a member of the family of God.

  2. My question is about the word ."bring" in verse 14. I have read this in several English versions, and Spanish and Dutch. All have it in future, yet to me it seems rather strange. Does anyone else have any info or ideas about it?

    • If the dead in Christ will rise first they will already be in the air with Christ and He will BRING them. It is not to be assumed that they are already in heaven.

  3. Regarding number 4 on the teaching plan.
    Firstly the bit you mention about the the living not preventing them that are asleep is actually found in verse 15 and not in the verses you mentioned.
    Secondly I think the New King James renders this verse is a way which is makes that verse more clear, "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means PRECEDE those who are asleep." So what this text is saying is that the living will not be taken to heaven before the dead, but we will all be going at the same time.
    As far as who this goes against the idea of a secret rapture if you continue into verse 16 we read that Jesus will descend from heaven "with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God", this sounds to me as being anything but secret. Plus with graves popping open in every graveyard all over the world how could it possibly be kept secret?

  4. Ellen White says in Acts of Apostles, p258 that the Thessalonians had the idea that Christ's coming was imminent and He is coming to change the faithful believers who are alive and take them to Heaven. So they were carefully looking after the lives of their fellow believers and family because they believed that dead had no hope in the second coming. When one after another passed away they became discouraged. We need to keep in mind that the Thessalonian Christians were newly converted Gentiles and Jews. They did not have the New Testament, things were unclear to them because of their lack of understanding. They were people who stood strong in midst of trial and persecution. But False teachings had crept into the church. So Paul clarifies and says I don't want you to be not informed which may imply he has not vividly discussed this doctrine with them before .They were grasping many teachings new to them during his first visit. There could have been a misunderstanding on part of the converted Thessalonians in this matter. So Paul emphasis the doctrine about the ”dead” in Christ will rise first and caught up with Him and the Living saints will be glorified.

  5. We Adventist, we learn alot of things from
    the Bible & we should size ourself if we behave like Jesus.


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