March 16, 2010
The Most Hope Filling Passage of Scripture
Death is painful. It creates an unwanted separation and leaves us with tons of questions. What is life after death like? What happens when we die? Is this the end? How do those left behind continue with this loss?
I think we all struggle with these questions...they are "ultimate" questions. Poets, writers, philosophers, and scholars of all religions discuss these questions. But none offer hope like the Apostle Paul.
Recently I was teaching a class on Paul's Epistles and was struck by this passage from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, "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. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him."
Because of the promise of the resurrection we are not "to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope." We know that we will be resurrected so death is not the end. What an amazing promise! We grieve and mourn the absence of those who go before us...but we have hope in being with them when Christ returns and we are resurrected in His Kingdom.
Now that is hopeful!