Summary: We have REAL hope in Jesus!
• SLIDE #1
• Death is a time we do not like to face.
• We have many people here today that have lost loved ones to death. When death comes, it seems like our hopes and dreams for the future are crushed. Some have lost loved ones at an early age, some after many, many years together.
• Losing a loved one can be a life-changing event in our lives. There never seems to be enough time.
• One day, unless the Lord returns first, we will all face our own death and or the death of our loved ones.
• What happens when we die? Is it game over? When we are immersed into Christ, ones of the promises we have from God is eternal life.
• As Christians, we have hope; we believe what Jesus says concerning our eternal destiny in Him.
• Death is not something we look forward to, BUT it is something that will bring major changes to us. We must maintain our sense of anticipation and hope in the face of death.
• 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 ones 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 and to keep their sense of excited anticipation for the Lord’s return.
• 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 REAL HOPE we have for eternal life today!
• WE will begin with verses 13-14.
• SLIDE #2
• 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 ( ESV ) But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
• Let us begin by looking at the foundation of our hope.
• SLIDE #3
I. The FOUNDATION OF OUR HOPE
• When we live for Jesus, we need to have a foundation on which to build our beliefs and hope on.
• The Thessalonian church was banking on the hope of eternal life, we should be banking on the same hope. For hope to be real, there needs to be a basis for our hope.
• SLIDE #4
A. What is the basis of our hope for eternal life?
• We all place our hope in something for our salvation.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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?
• What is the foundation of false religions? It is a bunch of baseless empty promises.
• SLIDE #5
• Acts 4:12 ( ESV ) And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
• 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! They have a basis for their hope!