Who are the dead in Christ?


1 Thessalonians 4:16

ESV - 16 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.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Before identifying the "dead in Christ," we should note the context in which this phrase is found. The immediate context is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, which deals with the question of what will happe...

July 01 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Greg Kelly
This subject is pretty simple once a person looks at the preponderance of the Biblical evidence. Jesus explains in John 5:29 that there are two resurrections. You can see this in Revelation that "the rest of the dead lived not again until the 1000 years was over". The first resurrection are the dead in Christ, and the second is the "resurrection of damnation". Revelation 20:15

So to meander into the state of existence, at death we see that the breath of God returns to God and we are dust. Gen 3:19 Man does not have a soul, he became a soul. Genesis 2:7 The breath returns to God who gave it, not the soul. Ecc 12:17 

It is one breath, not a specialized breath or spirit entity of person. Ecclesiastes 3:19, You perish at death Ecclesiastes 9:5,6
When a person dies they perish, their thoughts perish so they are not praising God. We go into silence. Psalms 115:17. There is no reverence. Psalm 6:5
Psalm 146:5

Souls die. Ezekiel 18:14. The breath is explained dually with spirit as can be read in Job 27:3 and man expires Job 14:10 and is not raised until the resurrection. The raising at the resurrection is not explained in the following, but the state of death is in Job 14:12.

When you are dead you are dead so cling to Jesus in this life because as explained in Isaiah 38:18 and Ecclesiastes 9:10 it is in this life your love, praise that is alive and not once you die.

In Adam all die, but in Christ all shall be made alive. 1 Cornthians 15:22 at the last day as we have this example John 11:11-39 Lazarus spoke nothing at all about paradise after he was raised, and he was raised because Jesus is the resurrection, not our own immortality. What a gyp if he was in paradise. (: In those verses it was agreed Lazarus would be raised at the resurrection, Jesus told them who was the resurrection. 

2 Samuel 7:12 shows what happens when your days are done, and in Daniel 12 we see when Daniel will receive his inheritance along with those that are saved.

There are some verses used to convey life after death. The phrase "I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise". If it is wrong that I move the comma, first study if Jesus went to paradise that day and did the thief on the cross even die that day? In the arranging or speaking the word "today" would have been used at the end of the sentence if Jesus meant to convey paradise would be that day, instead it is at the end of the first portion to emphasize that in spite of the appearance of circumstances that He assured the thief he would be in paradise. Truly I tell you "today", not today you will be in paradise. Btw, there is no punctuation in greek, phrases are simple to place punctuation except bias can effect even a comma.

Paul is correct that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, whether praying in the spirit EUPHEMISTICALLY, or the very next thought after a sleep of various duration for people will all seem instantaneous to each person. To read much into this to mean life after death goes against the preponderance of evidence and even Peter said Paul writes things "hard to understand" 2 Peter 3:14-18 So I would suggest not to take this verse by Paul as literal to explain a life after death bias.

Revelation 6:9 is an example as blood crying out of the ground, just as Abel's blood cried out. Here is the most symbolic book of all time and people use this to suit a need, but deny it's full context. They are told to REST a little longer as their brethren will be killed as they are.

Have some been resurrected with new bodies and/or never seen death? Enoch, Elijah, Moses and many at the resurrection of Jesus do have imparted life from Jesus, credit if you will ahead of the rest of us, but the dead are asleep and thankfully Jesus sees the saved as asleep for He is the God of the living, not the dead.

You will die or surely you will not die? Your choice. Jesus is the Resurrection, not the serpent's lie to Eve.

January 20 2015 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Appelt
The ‘dead in Christ’ is mentioned in I Thessalonians 4:15-17 concerning the coming of the Lord for His saints which is called the rapture. 

The phrase ‘dead in Christ’ means only those who had believed in Christ but had died. In I Thessalonians 4:13, 14, Paul refers to them as “those who have fallen asleep” and “those who sleep in Jesus,” sleep being a recognized euphemism for death. They would rise first and then those believers still living when Jesus comes shall be ‘caught up together with them.’ 

The ‘dead in Christ’ means all who believed in Christ/Messiah from the beginning of creation. Many think ‘dead in Christ’ can only refer to those of the church age, and that Old Testament believers are resurrected at the end of the Tribulation on the basis of Daniel 12:1, 2. However, Daniel is not referring to those of all past ages, but only those in the Tribulation. 

The order of the resurrection is quite clear, I Corinthians 15:23. First, Christ the firstfruits (which might include the saints that came out of the graves during the final moments of Christ’s crucifixion). Then comes the grand-scale harvest of all believers. This stage is specifically said to be “those who are Christ’s at His coming.” Finally, the gleanings of the Tribulation saints. 

It would be expected that Old Testament saints would be included in the ‘dead in Christ’ because they were saved in the same way. It was always by grace through faith in the promised Redeemer. They looked forward to Christ whereas present-day believers looked back to Christ.

Hebrews 11:26 reveals Moses had a knowledge of Christ, the Messianic hope, that made a difference in his life. He chose the better thing – the eternal reward in Christ. 

Genesis 15:6, compared to Romans 4:3 and Galatians 3:6, is clear Abraham was saved. Romans 4:6-8 is clear that David was also saved. The references to the Old Testament for proving salvation by grace by Paul proves they were saved the same way as people today.

Christ challenged Nicodemus that he a teacher of Israel did not know about the new birth. 

Several people in the Old Testament “knew the Lord” as Jeremiah 31:34 states, which would be a way of saying they were saved. Samuel would come to know Him, I Samuel 3:7. The opposite was true of the sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, who “did not know the LORD.” I Samuel 2:12. Manasseh would also be saved by knowing the Lord, II Chronicles 33:13. This principle of knowing is the same as the Lord prayed, “And this is eternal life that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent,” John 17:3. 

Hebrews 11:40 suggests that Old Testament saints will be “made perfect’ or complete, i.e., glorified, at the same time as present-day believers. 

The ‘dead in Christ’ includes everyone who has come to know Christ from creation to the Rapture.

January 31 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Karen Zorger Christian Wife, and Mom, Florida
To very simply answer the question that I believe is being asked, I believe that the dead in Christ are those believers who have already died and are separated from their earthly bodies as their souls are united with Christ, according to 2 Corinthians 5:8. Absent from the body, but present with the Lord. At the shout of the Lord's command, the voice of the Archangel and the sound of the trumpet of God, the earthly bodies from the grave, of those dead in Christ, will rise first as newly glorified bodies, to be reunited in the air with the souls that have been dwelling with Christ. Then those who are still alive in Christ will rise in the air and meet them, creating the first opportunity for the entire Church of Christ to be together in one place with Christ Jesus as the head.

April 10 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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