1 Thess 4
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.
Everyone is talking about the Coronavirus, escalating restrictive measures, and the changing landscape that confronts us these days. At this time, we are all in this both sinner and saint, and it seems there is nothing God’s people can do other than observe. Yet the Bible speaks clearly about the fact that we have hope in the midst of any and everything that we can ever go through, up to and including death.
The other day I bumped into my neighbors and I ended up talking with them for a while about the COVID crisis and shared some encouraging words with them. These are the same neighbor’s that I brought to church for Easter, and have been trying to share the gospel with for the past while. Though they haven’t conceded and accepted Christ, I believe they see that there is a light on me and I pray that they find the same hope that I have.
See, this hope is probably not only our greatest contribution to the world, but one of the greatest treasures we possess. For it’s the answer to humanity’s greatest fear, death.
Death is the greatest physical tragedy that has ever befallen man. Did you know that once upon a time we were made to live forever? That’s right. See, over 6000 years ago according to Biblical history, God instituted that our first parents Adam and Eve would have dominion over the earth, and as part of this mandate, they were to live for all eternity
Yet because of sin, this plan was cut short, and death was introduced into the human biological process and has been passed on from then till now. We are all programmed to die.
However, with Christ’s coming, he dealt death a severe blow,
1 Cor 15: 54-57
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
That’s right, with the advent of Christ’s we have hope because death has been defeated. We have hope that salvation is ours in Jesus name, and hope that he is coming back for us and will resurrect us after we die to be with him for all the ages. Isn’t this thrilling? This sure hope is something worth betting one’s life on.
But at this juncture in our current hour of history, how can the fact that he is returning, help us to overcome Covid fatigue, a protracted financial drain, or countless related effects of the pandemic. The keyword here is hope. If he can overcome death, the ultimate foe, and we have that hope firm and secure, then don’t we believe that he can help us overcome any problem we are going through? knowing that nothing we are going through can be as fearful or worrisome as the thought of death, either for ourselves or that of a loved one. Hope! That’s right, we can have hope.
That’s why Paul said to the Thessalonian church, you can have hope in the midst of the turbulence that you face.
So next time you are tempted to complain about the current environment, why don’t you stop looking around you, but look up. Look up, and in your heart see what Jesus said to the disciples as he was leaving in Acts 1:5. As he ascended from Mt. of Olives, he promised them that he would come back again the same way that he left. So, See him coming back for you, for your loved ones, and then let the words of 1 John 3, permeate your souls, and give you new zeal to go the distance
2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Let hope be your greatest treasure
– Pastor Olu Jegede