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Summary: Life can throw some bad curve balls (e.g. death) our way and they hurt . The Scriptures offer us a breathe of fresh air or rather, a breath of fresh hope!

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13But 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. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of {the} archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

- Prison experiences when visiting inmates. I feel a sensation of being trapped, smothered when the heavy metal snaps shut and echoes a taunting dare: “get past me if you can.” When I leave the prison I stand motionless for a moment and take a breath of fresh air.

- Life can throw some bad curve balls (e.g. death)our way and they hurt. The Scriptures offer us a breathe of fresh air which I’ve called a breath of fresh hope!

1. The Source

“But we…”

- The inspired Word of God to humanity

- Wants to breathe into your life and situations

- Apostle of the Church, St. Paul

2. The Breath of Fresh Hope

- 13But 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.

- Referring to those who have already died but also a message to those who have yet to die.

- “Brethren” – speaking to us as to family; speaking to the church; to followers of Jesus.

- Many believed (believe) that death is the end. Paul says we must not look through the lens “as do the rest who have no hope.” The message: what you see here is not the end! Charlie has now only really begun to live!

3. The Substance of Hope

i.The Star of the Story - Jesus

- Stories of people who held on to hope and were disappointed; they were let down and have adopted the slogan, “if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is.” That may be so for get-rich-quick schemes but the rule doesn’t work in this situation.

- What is the substance that inspires hope in this case? 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

- Does believing make it real? No. Believing is a spoken response to evidence at hand, primarily historically recorded eye-witness accounts. “If” is not the context of whether or not we believe but a fact of belief. The language is simply a peculiar style of drawing attention to confirmed belief of the resurrection of Jesus.

ii. Accurate Perspectives

- 15we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. – Death often perceived as a loss – and so it is through our temporal, earthy perceptions. We often do not see however that Charlie gained something! He gained likeness to God; wholeness in existence and is a step closer to resurrection day that we are! He and they – shall see it and be glorious wrapped up in it before those who remain.


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