Monday, November 21, 2011

The Morning After: Authentic Comfort (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

This was one of the hardest messages in the book of 1 Thessalonians for me to preach. There are many reasons for this, but primarily it is due to the fact that I feel like many people bring into this text an idea of what it says without even studying it. In fact, I think many Christians have been wrongly taught on the purpose of this section of Scripture.

It seems to me at least that there is a vast majority of Christians that are taught that 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 is the proof for a pre-tribulational rapture. I am not necessarily arguing against that view of the rapture, but I feel fairly strong that Paul's purpose in writing this was NOT to give a defense of that doctrine. Instead, his main purpose was to provide comfort for a group of people who had lost loved ones in Christ and were worried that their friends might miss the coming of Jesus. My main thought yesterday was that a proper understanding of the return of Jesus should should bring comfort to Christians.

Because there was so much that went into this, I would encourage you to read my full notes or to listen to the entire message to get the full gist of what I said. You can find them HERE.

Let me just add one thing here. Yes, this passage is meant to offer comfort to those who are living who have lost loved ones in Christ. But I also think it should offer a challenge. I think it should motivate us to live risky lives for Jesus. Think about it this way: what is the worst thing that someone could do to you because of your faith? Kill you? Take your life? Based on what this section of Scripture teaches (that those who have died in Christ will rise again when Jesus returns), shouldn't our response be "so what if they kill me?" If we believe this to be true, then we should have no problem living radically authentic risky lives for Jesus. Because death is not our enemy and even if we are killed for our faith, we have hope in the resurrection.

Here's the question to answer for your life: How Can I Live A Risky Life For Jesus?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.