Do not put out the Spirit’s fire. 1 Thessalonians 5:19, NIV The gift of God’s powerful presence is the key to understanding the life of the church. If you think that the life of your church lies in the abilities of the staff, the strength of the programs, or the gifts of...
We believe that Jesus died. 1 Thessalonians 4:14, NIV
Many people would say, “We cannot know anything about what happens beyond this life,” and they regard Christian talk about the afterlife as speculation, a metaphor to help us in our pain.
But Paul says, “We are not ignorant.” Why does he say that? Because Jesus has spoken to us about it: “According to the Lord’s own word…” (4:15). Christ has come from heaven and spoken about it. We have Christ’s own word on this so that we can know.
Perhaps you were there when a loved one died. You saw them lose strength. Then you heard them take their last breath. This happened to Jesus. He died. He entered into death. Death is a place where Jesus has been.
This is what Jesus Christ has done for us. The Son of God entered death for us. He went through it. He swept it clean. He defanged it. He drew out its sting. That means there is nothing there for you to fear. The valley of death is still a dark place for the Christian, and it may be a painful place, but it is a safe place because Christ has cleared out the enemies who lurked there.
John Calvin wrote, “We fear not in death those things which our prince has conquered.” Nothing in life or in death can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
How does the death of Jesus give you hope today?