Summary: Is there hope for eternal life.
• Picture if you will a young couple. They have been dating for a long time. The man is thinking about asking this young lady he has been dating to marry him. The young lady is wondering if the young man is ever going to ask the question.
• Finally the question is asked, “Will you marry me?” Of course the young lady answers yes!
• Now comes the fun part, planning the wedding.
• The young lady and her mother and every other significant female in her life get together to plan it all out. For many, months of coordination and planning happen, all for a date in which a wedding will take place.
• When this young couple says, “I do”, they have plans for a bright future full of hope and fulfilled dreams. They do not think about the possible tough times, the future is bright. They anticipate a great life together!
• Because of what has taken place in their lives, the young couple will initiate the wedding plans. If they felt the marriage would crash and burn, they would not go through the trouble and expense of a wedding.
• The letter to the Thessalonian church was written to help people to live with a sense of anticipation and hope. People were dying each day and those who were still alive were afraid their deceased loved were going to miss out on the return of Jesus.
• Paul wanted to reassure them this was not the case and he wanted to reinforce reasons for them to have hope.
• If we are living life as if there is no God or no eternity, we will have a sad hopeless existence. Having hope for the future can change a person’s life.
• Let us look at the hope we have for eternal life today!
I. FOUNDATION OF OUR HOPE 13-14
A. What is the basis of our hope for eternal life?
1. As we live our lives we all place our hope in something for our salvation.
2. Many people place their hope in their goodness. Some people place their hope in their position in life, and some people hope that once we die, we just die. Some people place their hope of eternal life in false religions.
3. What is the foundation that these are built on? Goodness? According to a 2004 Barna study, 54% of all adults believe that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven. (2004). Goodness is relative, what standard are you going to use to determine if your goodness is good enough? The bible tells us ROM 3:10 as it is written, "There is none righteous, not even one.
4. What is the foundation for the person who is going to rely on their position in life? ACT 10:34 Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality.
5. What is the foundation for the one who puts their hope in material things? Can you take your stuff to the grave; can you buy your way into eternal life of God?
6. What is the foundation of false religions? It is a bunch of baseless empty promises. ACT 4:12 "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."
7. I have been a part of a lot of weddings, but I have yet to sit down with a young lady or young man who came to me to plan a wedding that did not have a date set and a person who had already agreed to marry them. I have not had anyone come to me and tell me they wanted to plan the wedding they might have a few years from now with an unknown person. The plans start when we have a ring and a date!
8. What kind of foundation are you building your hope for life after the grave?
9. Are you planning a wedding when there is no hope to have a bride or groom?
B. The Object of your hope will dictate your pattern of life.
• From Parade magazine comes the story of self-made millionaire Eugene Land, who greatly changed the lives of a sixth-grade class in East Harlem. Mr. Lang had been asked to speak to a class of 59 sixth-graders. What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school? He wondered how he could get these predominantly black and Puerto Rican children even to look at him. Scrapping his notes, he decided to speak to them from his heart. "Stay in school," he admonished, "and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you." At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time they had hope. Said one student, "I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling." Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school. http://www.christianglobe.com/Illustrations/theDetails.asp?whichOne=h&whichFile=hope