But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” vs. 131 Thessalonians 4:13-15
Paul seems to have believed in the imminent return of Jesus, (it’s a common theme of his early letters), and that he would not die before that happened. But as the years passed, people in the congregations he had started began to die, and their loved ones wondered if they were going to miss out on new life with Christ. To reassure them Paul tells the Thessalonians that there is hope even for those who have died. Just as Jesus died and was raised, so they too will receive new life on the day of his return. Now, some 2000 years later, we’re still dealing with the problem of Christ’s delayed return. Some insist that it’s going to happen soon, but in spite of what our ancient creeds affirm, most believers aren’t really expecting it to occur, at least not in the way Paul imagined. But we’re still asking the same question as the believers in Thessalonica: what happens to our loved ones who die? And amazingly, Paul’s answer still applies, and it still brings comfort! We dare to affirm, with Paul, that just as Jesus died and was raised from the dead, so will all his brothers and sisters. In Christ, death is not the end, but a doorway to a new beginning.
Thought for the Day: What do I believe about the Second Coming?