Listen to the podcast below (or right click this link for the mp3 file)
A Life Pleasing to God (v. 1-12)
Be pleasing to God and don't engage in sexual immorality like the gentiles do. Being sexually immoral is a slight against god and the holy spirit. Continue to love all of your brothers throughout Macedonia as God has taught you.
Why is God so interested in sex? Seriously, the importance of sex is so blown out of proportion in the bible, I refuse to believe an all powerful God would care so much about that part of life. Not that it is unimportant or anything, but the bible spends so much time on it. And we also have more of this in group/out group stuff, "don't be immoral like the gentiles", another example that we are good and they are bad. Would an all loving God really lace the bible with such divisive language?
The Coming of the Lord (v. 13-18)
Do not grieve for your fallen brethren, for just as Jesus was risen from the dead, so will they. Jesus himself will come down from heaven, all the dead will rise and then all of us who are alive will meet him in the clouds and we will always be with the lord.
Well, I suppose this could be twisted to mean that we will go to heaven if we believe in Jesus. I suppose a Christian would argue that this is all talking about what happens to our spirit not our bodies, although it does read as if it is talking about our bodies. It also seems to be talking about this happening very soon, like before Paul dies. And Christians alive at that time will go up to heaven without dying. This really sounds like a doomsday cult. The only answer I can possibly imagine from a Christian about this is that it is metaphorical or talking about our spirits or something, but that seems like quite a stretch to me.
Alternatively, could "we who are alive" refer to some people at least 2000 years in the future who will be around when Jesus actually comes back? I could imagine someone trying to push that idea forward, but it seems like a completely insane interpretation to me.
For the overview post (If you think I should add or remove stuff from this list please let me know, I think it would make good conversation)
I 4:4-5 Sex is bad, gentiles are bad
"that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God"
I 4:15-16 Christianity started as a doomsday cult
"For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 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.