This message was preached Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church on the October 25th, 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here . To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here
Caroline was with us for a few years. A student of the Union Biblical Seminary- she was a dedicated Christian. She was struck with TB meningitis. She died last week.
Q. Where is she now?
1 Thessalonians 4:13
We don’t grieve like unbelievers. When a near one dies we wonder whether we will ever see them again. Paul is encouraging the people. We are sorrowful but we have hope. When Paul writes he does not do it to condemn tem but to encourage them. When Jesus told the disciples he was going to die, he told them not to be troubled.
So Paul tells the Thessalonians not to be ignorant about what is going to happen. One day we will all die.
Q. What is going to happen after we die?
Acts 7:57- Stephen just before dying calls out to Jesus and says, receive my spirit. And in verse 60 it says that he fell asleep. The Bible talks about a Christian’s death as sleep. 1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 Corinthians 15:6-
Our hope is this, one day when we die, we will come to live again. This is referring to our body. The Spirit is alive with Jesus in Heaven- our last breath on earth will be our first breath in heaven. Stephen commended his spirit to Jesus. Jesus said to the thief on the cross- this day you will be with me in paradise.
We are sad at Caroline’s death but she is in a much better place. For those who have not put their faith in Jesus are not referred to as “fallen asleep”. They will be judged. It is the saddest thing.
Q. How does this affect how we live? We evangelize and tell people about Jesus.
The Thessalonians were concerned that if they died before Jesus’ return, would they miss something? 1 Thessalonians 4:14-15- Paul was reassuring them. The dead in Christ will rise first. We all look forward to the second coming of Jesus.
In the Old Testament, the trumpet was used to gather people and move on. In the same way, the trumpet will sound. The dead will rise first and we will meet them in the air.
This is our hope and future. We are to encourage each other with these words. One day we will be with Jesus forever. In John 14:3- Jesus is preparing a mansion for us. This is the promise of Jesus. This is an amazing hope. When we died, our bodies are conferred to the grave. At Jesus’ second coming, our bodies will join Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15: 51-53- we will all be changed, i.e. glorified bodies.
This is our wonderful hope. Caroline’s body will be consigned to the grave but she’s with Jesus forever.
Q. How do we live?
1 Thessalonians 1:9- 10
This is a model for us.
1. Our life needs to be transformed. We turn away from sin and wrong beliefs to serve the living and true God. We need to ask how we can make a difference to our neighbours and the poor.
2. In verse 10, the mindset is that Jesus is coming soon- maybe even tonight. We are prepared and not ashamed to meet Jesus.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.