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Where were they?

Submitted: 3/18/2009
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Question: In the previous verse it said, 'Jesus will bring with him.' We all know that Jesus on his second coming will come from heaven. Are those who were asleep will come from heaven as well?

Answer: 1 Thessalonians 4:14 actually says, 'For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so GOD WILL BRING with Him those who sleep in Jesus.' God is the one doing the bringing. This verse is not saying that Jesus will bring these deceased believers with Him from heaven; it is saying that God will bring (or carry) them into glory with Jesus. This is confirmed by the words that follow, which tell us that 'the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord' (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Clealy both the living and the dead in Christ will be caught up (literally seized and carried up) to be with Jesus. This is the explanation of verse 14.

Note: When the terms 'God' and 'Jesus' are used as they are in verse 14, it is not talking about two divine beings; it is distinguishing between the eternal Spirit and the begotten flesh--the Son of Man.