Encourage Each Other (1 Thessalonians 4)

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Sermon Text

The Thessalonians had the same questions you have today. What happens to those who have fallen asleep in the faith? St. Paul says, "We don't want you to be ignorant" (v13). Ignorance about the fate of those who have gone before us isn't part of God's will.

God gives us the greatest promise and assurance about their status and their destiny: "For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep" (v14). What happens to them? They're with Jesus now. While we bury the earthly remains, the soul sits in Heaven awaiting the glorious Day of the Lord when body and soul will be reunited in the resurrection of all flesh.

The hope of everlasting life isn't just for those who are alive. The hope of everlasting life is for all people of all times and all places. When those who have faith in God die, the hope doesn't vanish. It remains and intensifies. It's not only Kathy's hope. It's the hope of all her loved ones who await the reunion with her and all the other loved ones who have been called to their eternal home on the Last Day.

These are the words which St. Paul wishes to encourage you with today. May we dwell in the hope of the great family reunion on the Last Day. Amen.