Alicia Ostermeyer: Discussion Questions

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Alicia Ostermeyer: Discussion Questions

Post by Alicia.O. on Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:15 am

1.Share your summary of the epistle's contribution to eschatology.

1 Thessalonians 4&5 give unique important insights to eschatology. Paul tells the Thessalonians in verse 4:15 that those who has those who have fallen asleep (died) will be alive with Christ before those who are on earth when Jesus returns. Verse 4:16-17 give a beautiful imagery of the Lord's return. It tells that He "will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God". From the voice of the Lord and archangel along with the trumpet this indicates to me that when the Lord returns all will hear and know He has come. Then Paul talks about how the dead in Christ will rise and then those who are still alive will ascend together in the clouds to meet the Lord. This imagery reminds me of what some would call a rapture.

In 1 Thessalonians 5 Paul encourages his brothers and sisters to be awake a sober minded about the day of the Lord's return. While Paul says, "the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night", he reminds us in verse 5:4 that we are not children of the night and therefore will not be surprised when the Lord comes. This truth has to be brought alongside the previous verse that says we do not need to know the time or dates of this the Lord's coming. Christ's return will not surprise His followers because this is the hope we have.

One of the most interesting things to me that Paul wrote is in 1 Thessalonians 5:3, "When people are saying 'Everything is peace and safety' destruction will come on them suddenly". In my mind everything would be the opposite of peace and safety before the Lord's return and still maybe it will be that way for Christ followers. I think this verse is emphasizing that the Lord will return on a normal day, people won't be thinking that the wrath of God is about to come and no one can escape it.

Explain how the kingdom is both a present experience and a future hope


The Kingdom being both present and future is a needed understanding when recognizing the power of the Gospel. This idea of the Kingdom being now and not yet is weaved into much of scripture. Jesus when instructing the 72 says, "Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The Kingdom of God has come near to you'".  John the Baptist says similar things when preaching. These passages of scripture show how Jesus is bringing the kingdom of God here on earth through healing, and through of the power of Holy Spirit the Kingdom of God is still seen today. Bird well says on page 250, "The gift of the Spirit is the deposit a guarantee of the new age yet to come in its fullness..." This is good news; that we can experience the Kingdom of God in it's miracles and bondage breaking with the expectation that we will know all this in its perfection one day. It's an experience now that we can participate in, and a hope of what's to come in the Kingdom of Heaven.
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Alicia.O.

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