Bible Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The Lord will not leave us ignorant in any aspect of our christian life, therefore, he provides knowledge on every issue that might trouble our hearts. Death is one mystery that God has chosen not to elaborate so much on even though it is one crucial aspect of the earthly man. Rather, He (God) focuses more on its eradication and destruction. This very passage is one of such.
The Thessalonians must have received a misguided lesson about death but definitely, not from Paul. So here Paul tries to explain to them and to us what happens to our dead relatives and friends. He calls on us not to sorrow exceeding like people who have no hope. It must quickly be noted that this verse does not discourage or negate sorrow over our dead loved ones. Human affections are not to be denied but must be controlled in the light of God’s instructions. Self control is very important whenever it comes to expressing our emotions, good or bad. So, just like in any other area of our lives, we must control how we sorrow over the dead; being consoled by the fact that they are asleep in the lord to awaken on an appointed day: the day of the Lord.
Verses 15-17, is the believers undisputed claim to rapture. “The lord himself shall descend from heaven with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (verses 16-17). This is our comfort and our blessed and precious hope. For if there is no resurrection of the dead (1Corinthians 15:13-19), then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen then our preaching is useless and our faith is futile…if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. We are to be pitied the most if there is no resurrection, for all our earnest expectations of reward is found in the after life. But the glory is in the fact that Jesus died, was buried and on the third day he rose from the dead breaking the yoke and tyranny of death over man and has promised that he is the resurrection and life that all who die in him shall be brought back to life on the day of his appearing.
Read Also: Living to Please God
Beloved, even though we may not understand all that happens to the spirit, soul and body at death, it is enough for us to accept according to the bible that they sleep, even as Lazarus slept. We should rather be concerned about how to live in JESUS and die in JESUS so that we may have qualified for the resurrection on that day. Hence, having known that the eternity God placed in the heart of man will not completely elude him, but has been made possible by Jesus, we should grieve but in hope of seeing our dead friends again. All we need do is try our best to get them live their lives in Christ.
PRAYER: Father, thank you for this wondrous consolation. We all have lost some loved ones to the cold hands of death, but you sure know how to put everything that Satan spoiled back in order. Keep us focused on maintaining our union with Christ in our daily lives so that whenever death comes we may die ready knowing that you will not abandon us in Hades or allow us to see decay. Blessed be your holy name forever, in Jesus name we pray. Amen!