Friday, February 26, 2016

1 Thessalonians, Day 5 Readings

The Promise for Christians Who Have Died & Closing Encouragements         

Today's first reading is the only issue that Paul addresses directly in this letter.  It seems that some people in the Thessalonian church have died.  The other Christians, who are excited about the promise for people who are ready when Jesus returns to go to heaven, are worried that those who die before Jesus returns will miss out.

Paul reiterates his earlier teaching -- Christians do need to be ready for Jesus' return.  This will be a day of salvation for all faithful Christians.  In fact, Paul writes, the dead will be raised from their graves and will meet Jesus first -- midair, it seems -- and those who are living will then follow them to heaven.

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second reading provides the conclusion to this letter, where Paul offers some closing encouragements to the Thessalonians.  On a certain level, Paul seems reluctant to end the letter, and he offers a string of brief reminders -- each of which deserve longer attention and description about how to live them out.  After these, Paul offers a final prayer and blessing for the Thessalonians.

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:28 today.