1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

1 Thessalonians chapter 4

English Standard Version

New International Version

New American Standard Bible

Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

New King James Version

What does 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 mean?

This chapter begins the second division of Paul's letter to the Thessalonian believers. Whereas chapters 1—3 are mainly personal, as Paul commends the Thessalonians and expresses his strong desire to see them again, chapters 4 and 5 contain instructions about personal purity and behavior. The first part of chapter 4 contains exhortations about holy living. Paul urges the Thessalonians to avoid sexual immorality by practicing self-discipline and by recognizing that God calls believers to lead a pure life and will judge those who engage in sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:1–9).

Paul exhorts his readers to practice brotherly love, to live a peaceful life, to mind their own business, and to work in order to provide for their needs instead of depending on others for assistance. By working hard the Thessalonians would maintain a good testimony. This is not only important as an act of obedience towards God. Living an exemplary life also provides evidence, to the non-believer, about the power of Christ in a person's life. This, in turn, opens the doors for those people to hear and accept the gospel themselves (1 Thessalonians 4:10–12).

The end of 1 Thessalonians, as well as much of 2 Thessalonians, is focused on the return of Jesus Christ in what we now call "the rapture." Based on these passages, we surmise the Christians of Thessalonica might have been struggling with false teachings, rumors, or fears. In response to those who wondered what happens to a believer who dies before Jesus returns, Paul exhorts his readers not to grieve as the unsaved grieve. He explains that when Jesus returns, He will resurrect the bodies of departed Christians and then catch up living Christians to be with Him forever. Paul called upon the Thessalonians to use these truths for each other's encouragement (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: