Summary: Paul makes it clear that when a believer dies his soul goes to be with the Lord.
1. SERIOUS SUBJECTS. IMPORTANT ISSUES.
2. There are a lot of them in God’s Word
• The Bible DOESN’T SHY away from the serious matters in life.
• It speaks very openly & candidly of sin & salvation, of money & motives, even of fears and failures.
• AND as we open His word, it so quickly cuts right to the heart!
Hebrews 4.12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
As a loving Father does, God gives us counsel and insight on how we might live our lives… very much like the counsel given throughout the Proverbs. Let’s look at Proverbs 3:1ff
• Got questions? Go to His Word. Lack wisdom? Turn to His Word.
APP: What gets us in so much trouble, is that too many times we don’t seek out His word with a question
• AND INSTEAD WE lean on our own understanding!
Psalm 119.130 The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.
• We can trust God’s Word to address SERIOUS SUBJECTS and IMPORTANT ISSUES with stark clarity and strong direction!
AND OF all the SERIOUS SUBJECTS addressed in the Bible, matters of LIFE & DEATH are of most importance.
• That’s where we draw our attention this morning.
• TO: Death, Dying, and The Believer! (Read 1 Thess 4.13-15)
NOTE: Death is inevitable.
Ecc. 3.1-2 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: 2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
Acts 17.26 "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,
It’s interesting that we find so many studies about life & teaching so much about Christian living but not much about Christian dying.
• But like the believers in Thessalonica then, we too now need to be taught on Christian dying.
• Paul thought it very important for these new believers to understand death & to understand what happens after death.
Hebrews 9.27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
NOW As a pastor, I have the privilege of officiating many funerals.
• I have to say, some are easier than others.
• Some are very pleasant and others are not so pleasant.
• I’ve buried people who lived a long full life and they simply graduated and were promoted into heaven. Joy filled the room!
• There was great grief and loss, but also great hope!
• BUT I’ve also buried those who left this earth without Jesus.
• The difference consistently is that…
• One is filled with hope while the other is drowned in hopelessness.
SO Paul, the pastor & shepherd is writing to comfort the brokenhearted Christians who had lost some loved ones to death.
• As was Paul was there for the 3 weeks of planting this church, he shared how Jesus was returning soon!
• WELL they thought it was REAL SOON, and a couple of weeks, & months had passed with Jesus not returning
• And along the way a few loved ones dying.
• SO They were concerned. Did they miss the rapture? Did they miss the resurrection?
• So the poor church was confused. Is there no hope? What? Why?
NOTE: Those are common questions at the loss of a loved one.
• It’s often a confusing time. We ask ‘Why did this happen?’
• ‘Why now?’ Will I have to go through this again? Are you punishing me God?
• Some of those are hard to answer, yet there are other answers that can bring us great comfort and assurance. Look again…
I. (4:13-15) IGNORANCE ABOUT DEATH
1. (13) I don’t want you to be ignorant.
a. They were really mixed up because of ignorance.
b. Literally, “not knowing, not understanding, mistaken.”
c. They didn’t know what was happened after death and it was in their ignorance that the false teachers took advantage!
NOTE: I commend you church for your diligent desire to know God and His Word and His will.
• Your hunger & thirst for righteousness is so refreshing!
Matthew 5.6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
SO WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE CONCERNING those that had fallen asleep, there was a lot of speculation and guesswork.
• But Paul’s answer was not a guess, but God’s word.
• Look at v15, “By the Word of the Lord”