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As human beings we are quite obsessed with the topic of death. Simply take a sampling of TV shows on your average night of the week and you will certainly find that many of them deal with this topic in their own way. Some portray the evil of humanity as you watch a detective show, others show the mystery around death in a typical forensic based drama, whilst few others may even take a stab at answering questions about the after life, albeit sometimes eerie as in The Twilight Zone.
Yes we all want to know about death, and its implications. But despite all of our attempts to tackle this issue of death, we fall short, unless we go to the author of life itself, God.
The early Christians in the ancient city of Thessalonica had questions concerning death as well. They wanted to know what would become of their loved ones. Would they see them again? How would this happen? and so forth.
Paul the apostle, writes back to them these words
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians Chapter 4)
Notice the last verse, “therefore encourage one another”. Probably the biggest thing we need when it comes to this topic of death is that of encouragement. Paul wants them to know that the believers who died will be seen again. But, not just that. Those who are alive will be reunited with them in a heavenly procession, as each one of them is endowed with newly glorified immortal bodies that balk at death forever more.
How encouraging this must have been. Death can no longer hold us down. Human mortality has been shed, and a kind of oneness with divinity has now been embraced.
Be therefore encouraged. Whatever trials or troubles that face you, know that this life is so short, like the fading a vapor on a crisp cold day, and that in the context of eternity, your pain but for less than a moment. Also remember, if you have trusted God with your heart by belief in him, surely you can also trust him for the situation at hand. However, if you haven’t trusted God, consider turning over your life to him today. For with Christ we can face tomorrow, knowing that even death, the ultimate enemy of humanity, death cannot forever hold us down, for we shall rise again.
– Pastor Olu Jegede