This is the opening line from today’s lesson in the scriptures:
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.”-1 Thess 4:13 *
I have found it interesting, as we go through these lessons in 1 Thess., that Paul clearly wants the church to be informed and educated about what is to come. Earlier in 1 Thess 3:4 , he says: “For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know.” *
As a Pastor/Shepherd/Apostle of Jesus, Paul has an ambition to make sure that his people are prepared for what is to come. I think this a very loving act that a good leader will work into his ministry, surprises can sometimes rock people’s faith, and it seems best to avoid them when we can.
Paul didn’t come up with this on his own, this is the ministry that the Lord Jesus modeled, He was constantly reminding the disciples about what was coming, so that when it happened, they would remember His words and His intentions. “But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.” – Mark 13:23 *
“From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He.” John 13:19 *
As leaders, whether it is in families, on the job, or in the church, it is biblical leadership to be as upfront and informative about what we know is going to happen as we can be. When paul wrote to the Thessalonians, his concern was that “no one would be disturbed by these afflictions” and he reminded them, “…we have been destined for this.” His goal was to keep them from being uniformed in a way that may surprise them, even to the point of losing faith.
When people are informed about the future, or even the process, we help them see God’s glory in the revelation of what He is doing. When we withhold that, I think we run the risk of damaging God’s work as well as steal His glory.