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Jesus Christ and his apostles were exceedingly desirous not merely that men should be converted and have a good hope of heaven, but that they should be eminently holy; should not merely be planted as trees of righteousness in the garden of the Lord, but bear much fruit. John 15:8 .
Possess his vessel ; treat his body as the work and property of God and the habitation of an immortal spirit.
Despiseth ; rejecteth these instructions. Men treat God as they treat the truths of the Bible. Those who disbelieve and reject them, disbelieve and reject him; and those who love and obey them, love and obey him.
Walk honestly ; have a deportment that is honorable and reputable.
Without ; without the church; those who do not profess to love Christ.
Have lack of nothing ; nothing which is needful for support, comfort, and usefulness. Diligence in lawful useful business is the duty of all men, unless disabled; it is the means by which God ordinarily supplies their wants and enables them to pay their debts, support their families, and be useful to their fellow-men.
Asleep ; asleep in Jesus, who have died in union with Christ by faith, verse 1 Thessalonians 4:14 .
Others ; the unenlightened heathen, who have no hope of a resurrection and life of blessedness with Christ in heaven.
Will God bring with him ; raise from the dead in glorious, immortal bodies, so that they as well as those that remain alive at Christ’s coming, shall appear with him in glory. 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 .
Which are alive ; when the Lord shall come to judgment.
Shall not prevent ; not go before, or rise to meet the Lord before those do who are dead.
Rise first ; before the living shall be changed. But after the dead in Christ are raised, the living shall be changed, and both ascend together to be for ever with the Lord.
The prospect of meeting our pious friends at the day of judgment, and with them, perfect in body and soul, ascending with Christ and all his redeemed, to be for ever like him, soothes the anguish of parting with them, and fills the soul with joys unspeakable and full of glory.
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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent