Reading assignment – I Thess. 4-5, II Thess. 1, Proverbs 20
I Thess. 4:13-14 –
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have not hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
During this season we are celebrating the birth and first coming of Christ let us not forget He is coming again. Over the past month two people I knew very well and one whose parents I knew quite well went to be with Jesus. Two of them were in their fifties and one in his thirties.
That is way too young to die, from my perspective and far too many funerals to attend in a month. These three home-goings of people I knew drove home the point that this life is very fragile and temporary. No matter how long we live on earth it is a vapor in comparison to eternity.
The good news is if we know Jesus and have received Him as personal Savior and Lord this life is not the end. It is just the beginning! Each of us will face death unless Jesus returns first. God does not want us to be ignorant of the great family reunion that awaits those of us who know Him.
And death is no longer the victor for those of us in Christ. It is now simply the doorway into the presence of God. Then upon Jesus’ return – and He is surely coming again – we will be reunited with our friends and loved ones who have gone before us to Heaven.
Read the following verses in this passage in I Thess. 4 and it will give you great hope. I am missing my friends who recently went home to be with the Lord. But the hope of His sure return and reunion with them and others who have gone to be with Him helps me process my grief. We don’t have to sorrow like those in the world who have no hope beyond this life.
The message of Christmas is God is faithful to fulfill His Word. Over and over again in the Old Testament Scriptures He promised the coming of His Son Who would save the world from sin. During this season we are celebrating that first coming that occurred 2,000 years ago. Let me paraphrase the words of Paul from today’s passage in I Thess. 4:
“Don’t be ignorant about those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. He is coming again! Therefore you don’t have to allow their passing to drown you in grief. You will see them again when Jesus returns. Just as sure as He came the first time as a babe in a manger, so He will come again in the clouds to take us all home to be with Him!”
That is good news and more sure than the sun coming up in the morning. Let us not be ignorant of that when life circumstances aren’t going our way.