Summary: Summary: There is hope in life and hope in life after death. A Christian should not be ignorant and hopeless concerning dying as a child of God. Our hope is not an empty hope, it is based upon the eternal reality of Jesus Christ being raised from the dead
Hope and Hopelessness 2
Ignorance and Sorrow 4
Homer and Hesiod 4
Arguments, and the Conclusion 7
Argument 1 - WE DO BELIEVE 7
Argument 2 - The Authority and the Order of the Meeting 8
Argument 3 - Revealing and the Rapture 9
The Conclusion - The rapture of the living and the dead in Christ 10
• [John 11:25 NKJV] 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
That’s not my text for today, as we’ll be looking at 1 Thessalonians 4; but this is the message as we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection, death is not the final authority in life, with Christ’s resurrection, all who belong to Him will be made alive.
• [1Co 15:20-22 NKJV] 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, [and] has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man [came] death, by Man also [came] the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
I want us to have this on the forefront of our mind as we go through the Thessalonian text…Jesus is the resurrection and the life and in Christ all shall be made alive…in Christ, in Christ! Let’s look at our text…
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For 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 by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
I want to start with verse 18; Paul encourages the saints in Thessalonica to comfort one another with these words. Which words? The words that point to eternal realities…but specifically the reality of life, even in death. Often times, thoughts and counsel on eternal things don’t seem to bring much sustained comfort, most of us, when we’re stressing in life are typically more caught up in temporal things, and we have a tendency to look to the right here, and the right now for comfort. We can carry an attitude of “what can someone offer me right now or what can I do right now to bring relief for my present situation.”
Well, the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus points us to greater realities than our right now.
Hope and Hopelessness
First let me say this, there’s nothing wrong with trying to find comfort or finding comfort in immediate times of need. But there is a greater value in finding soul satisfying comfort in eternal things. Why? Because the things of this life are passing, they are temporary
• [1Jo 2:17 NKJV] 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
…there is soul satisfying comfort in the hope of eternal things…
• [Tit 1:2 NKJV] 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
Hope is one of those greater values. Hope is a catalyst that directs our hearts into these soul satisfying comforts in eternal things.
• 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And [why] are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him [For] the help of His countenance. [Psa 42:5 NKJV]
• 7 O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD [there is] mercy, And with Him [is] abundant redemption. [Psa 130:7 NKJV]
• 5 Happy [is he] who [has] the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope [is] in the LORD his God, [Psa 146:5 NKJV]
• 18 For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off. [Pro 23:18 NKJV]
A virtue such as hope is essential as we wait for the Lord’s return. Whenever a person loses hope he loses everything worth living for. The person who commits suicide is one who has lost hope; life, this side of eternity has left him/her disillusioned.