1 Thessalonians: A Hope that Endures

Sermon & Small Group Resources

This is the sixth sermon in our series looking at 1 Thessalonians. Preacher: The Rev’d Zoë Browne. Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Download the Small Group Questions, Going Deeper, and Sermon Transcript (PDF).

Next Steps this Week

BIBLE READING: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS

Download in PDF format.

CONNECT: What is one aspect of your life (especially considering the topics covered this week) that you can orientate more to please God?

WARM-UP Questions

  1. Why do humans often respond to death by denying it, trying to defy it, or even at times romanticising it? 

READ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15

  1. What are the two key reasons why Christians do not grieve like the rest of the world?

  2. Why is Jesus’ death and resurrection such a sure ground for hope for us?

  3. Does that mean that we are not meant to grieve at all? Why or why not?

  4. In the face of their brothers and sisters dying, why was this causing the Thessalonians to question the certainty of their own future with the Lord? 

  5. Whilst many questions still remain about what happens to us after death, what are the great certainties of which we can be sure? How can we be sure that for whoever dies in Christ, that the very next thing they know, will be the very presence of the Lord?

  6. What does it mean for you to know that death is not the end? How does this spur us on proclamation?

  7. In the face of death, how should Christians both grieve and hope? What does it mean for grief to be shaped by hope?

READ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

  1. How will Jesus’ return be the welcoming of the ultimate King? How will we know that it is happening?

  2. What is different between Jesus’ first coming and his second coming?

  3. In what way will Jesus’ return mark the fulfilment of the Kingdom of God? What will this Kingdom be like and in what way will it superior to our experience of the world now?

  4. When it comes to ‘forever with the Lord’, why are there no hierarchies or super righteous, but simply those who have put their trust in Jesus?

  5. How does verse 17 emphasise that we will be with the Lord forever? What most excites you about this?

  6. How can we best look forward to Jesus’ return to help shape how we live for God today?

  7. What does it look like – as per verse 18 – to encourage one another with these words?

APPLY This Week: How can you be reminded – every single day – that Jesus will return? (Try to think of something really practical that can form part of your daily rhythm of life.)

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, we thank you so much that we do not grieve like the rest of the world, but with a sure and certain hope. We thank you that this hope is founded on your Son’s death, resurrection, and promise of return. Please help us to have lives shaped by this Good News, as we seek to live in great anticipation of Jesus’ return and your Kingdom being fulfilled. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

GOING DEEPER

WITH CHILDREN