Group Discussion Questions

  1. 1. Poll the group: How many have read/heard of any volume in the all-time best-selling series of books?
    1. Harry Potter (500 million; 1997-2007)
    2. Goosebumps (350M; 1992 to present)
    3. Perry Mason (300M; 1933-1973)
    4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (275M; 2007 to Present)
    5. Berenstain Bears (260M; 1962 to Present)
    6. Choose Your Own Adventures (250M; 1979 to Present)
    7. Sweet Valley High (250M; 1983-2003)
    8. Railway Series (Thomas the Tank Engine) (201M; 1945-2011)
    9. Noddy (wooden elf toy) (200M; 1949 to Present)
    10. Nancy Drew (200M; 1949 to Present)

47) Left Behind (65M; 1996-2007) – Between Winnie the Pooh/The Magic Tree House and Series of Unfortunate Events/Little House on the Prairier

                                                If some has read all the Left Behind books, ask them to summarize the plot/timeline of events.

  1. 2. Paul has been talking to people who have been grieving the deaths of loved ones, fearful the dead will miss out on the return of Jesus.
    1. How did last week’s text/sermon help you think of deaths of loved ones that will occur in your future?
  2. 3. In this passage, Paul turns his attention on the grievers themselves.  He answers the unasked question, “That’s great for them. What about us?” Paul tells them what the living can expect.
    1. They will be “caught up.” This is the word that refers to what Christians call the rapture. It is used in non-eschatological ways in other texts.
  3. i.      Look at Act 8:39; 2 Cor 12:2; John 10:12; Acts 23:10 and find the word that matches with “caught up.” What action is brought to mind? How do you think Paul uses the term here?
    1. They will be “together with them/the raised dead.” Why is this good news? Who do you look forward to “being together with” (besides Jesus!).
    2. They will be “in the clouds.” Does this refer to the atmospheric clouds? Does this mean Jesus cannot come back on a clear day? Is there another meaning?
  4. i.      Look at Exodus 13:21.  Was it in front of them or behind them at this point? What was the purpose/purposes of the cloud?
  5. ii.      Look at Exodus 24:15-16 and 33:9-10? What does the cloud mean here?
  6. iii.      Look at Exodus 40:34-37.
  7. iv.      Look at Daniel 7:13-14. Note where the Son of Man goes when he is “in the clouds?”
  8. v.      Look at Luke 9:28-26.
  9. vi.      Finally, look at Acts 1:9-11.
  10. vii.      With this in mind, what is Paul trying to teach us when he writes we will meet him in the clouds?
    1. 4. They will “meet the Lord in the air.” Review the verses from the sermon to see how this word is used in the Bible.
  11. i.      Look at Aacts 28:14-16
  12. ii.      Look at Matt 25:1-10 (remember, this parable comes immediately after and is part of Jesus’ words in Matt 24.
  13. iii.      Does the text in 1 Thess 4:17 give us any clue what will happen when we meet Jesus in the air? Who makes the U-Turn: Jesus or Us?
  14. In verse 18, the purpose of all this information continues to be one of encouragement. How can verse 17 encourage the believer?


We desire that everyone who attends Western Avenue to be connected to our community. There are various ways in which this can happen, but we want to expand some of the most strategic connecting ministries of the church: Journey Groups and Small Groups. 


Journey Groups 

Weekly, same-gender groups of 3-5 people that meet for prayer, Bible study, fellowship, and accountability.



Small Groups 

Weekly co-ed groups of 5+ people, and may include singles and couples. We have found that 10-12 people can be ideal. These groups are focused especially on Fellowship, but will have times of prayer and Bible-based discussion.



Discipleship in Community

Part 1


Part 2


Journey Group Testimonial