The idea that death has no last say for Christians because Christ Jesus will return to restore what is lost and renew what is perishing is sweet to the soul. This idea is what Christians in Thessalonica are called to encourage each other with. It is what Paul concludes with in 1 Thessalonians 4:18 and 5:11. This idea is unarguably the aim of general theme of 1 Thessalonian 4-5 (Weima 1995: 192). Thessalonians are called to encourage each other with eschatological hope that is not only theirs, those who are living, but also of their dead comrades.
It appears that the church in Thessalonica knew the times and the seasons that marked the return of their Lord and King (5:1 cf. Lk 21:34-36). It would be unexpected time, like that of a thief in the night. While the rest of the world believe that all is well, the King will return and all who did not pledge alliance with Him would be caught like a pregnant woman in labor pain without any escape route (5:2-4).
The Thessalonians, awaiting the return of their King, ought not be like the rest of the world, according to Paul. They ought not be caught sleeping when the King returns. They are to be caught awake and sober and ready to receive their King. They are to be quipped with defensive-war armor, waiting not only to receive their King who is returning to be with His people forever but also participate in His sovereign reign (4:17) where Jesus will render God’s justice (5:3-10) to those who committed
Tracing Paul’s case back, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-12 provides a flowing context of proper ethical ways Christians are called to conduct their lives. They are to live in the present but in view of the future hope. Paul encouraged Christians in Thessalonica to keep on living a God-pleasing life, both in sexual purity and in relationship with one another (4:3-12). This way of living reflects who they are. “[T]hey are children of light, children of the day”(5:5) expecting the zenith of their salvation at any moment.