PRAISE AND POWER                  THAT YE SORROW NOT AS OTHERS                 October 25, 2021

I Thessalonians 4:13 says: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” There are people who do not have the hope of Christ’s return. Many people believe in of life after death. As Christians, we have the hope of the return of Christ and the promise of eternal life. Verse 14 continues: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again [which is a requirement for salvation], even so them also which sleep [who have died] in Jesus will God bring with him.” Verse 15 tells us that this is not just wishful thinking: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [Old English for precede, “go before”] them which are asleep.” We must

keep in mind that this is “by the word of the Lord.” Some Christian people take this to mean that a person needs to be dead in order to go to heaven. However, those Christians who are alive when Christ returns will be gathered at the same time as those who have died.

But let’s consider the rest of I Thessalonians 4: “For the Lord himself [Jesus Christ] shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump [trumpet] of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise [standup] first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them [the dead in Christ] in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Jesus Christ was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven. When he comes back, the dead in Christ will standup and then those who are still alive will join them in the air to ever be with Christ. “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:18) What a comfort this is!

I Corinthians 15:51, 52 sheds additional light on this subject: “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [be dead], but we shall all be changed [changed into a new body, like the one Jesus Christ has now], In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead [those whose physical bodies are corrupted or corrupting] shall be raised incorruptible, and we [who are still alive at the time] shall be changed [changed into a new body, like the one Jesus Christ has now] .Others have no hope, but as Christians we have the hope of the return of Christ who will bring about this change for the living and dead Christians at the same time.

“For this corruptible [dead Christians] must put on incorruption, and this mortal [alive Christians] must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (I Corinthians 15:53 - 55) What a great day that will be! All Christians at that time will have a body like the resurrected Christ and will ever be with him in the air. Verse 57 says: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory [the victory over death] through our Lord Jesus Christ.” For Christians eternity is set. There is a glorious future life to which we look forward. So when a fellow Christian dies we sorrow; but not as those who have no hope.

Knowing there is this great future hope, what should Christians do now? “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58) We do not sorrow as those who have no hope. We have the blessed hope of the return of our lord and savior Jesus Christ. Until he returns we stay “… stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

**********************************************************************************************************************"PRAISE AND POWER” is an independent ministry, continued in honor of Milford and Betty Bowen by Earl and Nancy Burton.  Our prayer is as theirs was that you will be edified as you apply the principles of God’s Word in a practical way in your life.  You may contact us: PO Box 473, Earlysville, VA 22936 or by email: praisenpower@gmail.com  102521 ENB

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