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Summary: ..., Today’s message is especially significant, for it reminds us at this time of great loss; a loss visibly seen and deeply felt, and, that the believer in Christ has a different ending to tragedy such as this. Little did he know that I would be preachi

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WHAT YOU KNOW WILL COMFORT YOU

1 Thess 4:13-18

This past Wednesday morning between 3:30am and 4:30am our brother Elbridge Hollimon was killed in a traffic accident and placed in the hands of God Almighty. Today’s message is especially significant, for it reminds us at this time of great loss; a loss visibly seen and deeply felt, and, that the believer in Christ has a different ending to tragedy such as this. Little did he know that I would be preaching this passage this Sunday, and little did I know that this portion of Scripture would have such significance to our church

INTRODUCTION: The motto of the American Negro College Fund was, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”. This motto pre-supposes that knowledge is a valuable commodity, and as such the mind should not be squandered but enriched by knowledge. The Apostle Paul also believed in the value of knowledge. For Paul, knowledge would combat ignorance and provide comfort. No better place is this seen then here in the book of Thessalonians, where Paul uses knowledge to deal with man’s ignorance and need of comfort in regard to death.

I PAUL WANTS US TO KNOW OUR FUTURE – 4:13

1 Thessalonians 4:13 (NIV)

13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 (MSG)

13 And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word.

A Ignorance brings destruction

Hosea 4:6 (MSG)

6 My people are ruined because they don’t know what’s right or true. Because you’ve turned your back on knowledge, I’ve turned my back on you priests. Because you refuse to recognize the revelation of God, I’m no longer recognizing your children.

Hosea 4:6 (NIV)

6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.

1 Lack of knowledge causes us to reject God

2 The word knowledge here means a knowledge obtained from the events in which God has demonstrated himself

3 The word destruction has the meaning of cutting off or silencing

4 So lack of knowledge about God has the ability to silence us! WOW!!!!!!

What better way to silence the believer than to cause that believer to lack knowledge in an area of great concern – our state after death!

If the devil can get us to doubt God’s activity with us after we die, he can silence the effectiveness of any believer. If there is no hope of the resurrection then, in the words of Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:19 (KJV) 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

1 Corinthians 15:19 (MSG)

19 If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot.

B Knowledge overcomes ignorance

1 Very simple truth – the only way to combat ignorance is with knowledge

2 Paul’s source of knowledge was none other than Jesus Himself – verse 15

a No where in Scripture do we see this declaration of the Lord

b Need to conclude that Paul got this by DIRECT revelation from Jesus Himself

C Knowledge overcomes grief

1 Men grieve over what they cannot control and do not know

2 Man cannot control death

3 Man without Christ is ignorant about death

D Knowledge provides hope

1 Man ignorant of death is a hopeless man

2 Man consumed by the grief of death is a hopeless man.

3 Man with knowledge of what lies ahead is a man without ignorance, without grief, and hopeful (the expectation of a divine certainty)

THE UNBELIEVER GRIEVES OUT OF IGNORANCE

THE BELIEVER GRIEVES FOR THE RELATIONSHIP

Something I want you to see, … words have meaning. Meaning to us, and meaning to others. So often we are ambivalent to what is happening or to what the words are saying, that we miss truth, precious truth –

Those who are asleep – translate as those who are sleeping!

What we see as death, they see as sleep

Can I suggest something:

• Now we know that there is activity in heaven

• We know that those who love the Lord and have died are with the Lord in heaven

• We know that they will return with the Lord at the rapture and we will be united

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