But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13
In Jesus’ day, a funeral was a time for an impassioned demonstration of grief. It was a sign of respect for the deceased to wail loudly at a funeral. A person grieving the loss of a loved one had no power to change what had happened. There was probably no time in human experience when people felt more helpless or vulnerable than at a funeral. Jesus, too, wept at the funeral of a close friend, but His sorrow did not come from a lack of hope (John 11:35). Jesus knew that soon Lazarus would be alive again. He also knew that at His second coming, Lazarus and all of Jesus’ followers would be resurrected from death to spend eternity with Him in heaven. Jesus wept because He saw the hopelessness felt by the people He loved. His friends had the Resurrection and the Life right in their midst, yet they were grieving! (John 11:25). When Jesus conquered death, He forever changed the way Christians view death. Christians still experience the sorrow of losing someone we love, but we have hope because we know that God can bring good out of any situation (Rom. 8:28). We have hope in the knowledge that nothing, not even death, can separate us from God's love (Rom. 8:38–39). We have hope because Jesus will bring us to join Him in heaven so that we might enjoy eternity in unhindered fellowship with Him (John 14:3). Even though you are a Christian, you cannot escape life's sorrows. But you can temper your grief with the hope that Christ is risen, for He is your hope and your comfort. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
In my memories this morning I was reminded of the passing of my Uncle.
After reading this particular devotional, it brought back reminders of people from my life that I miss being with, miss talking to.
I can see the point of view that Blackaby writes about why Jesus wept. Hundreds of people missing the point of who He was and is to those who believe.
As Christians we have a hope that the world cannot know unless they too come to Christ.
As the Scriptures point out quite clearly without being born again in Christ Jesus there's no hope for the dying people leaving this world.
Nobody in any worldly religion has the power and authority to save a soul but Jesus Christ.
The Scriptures are clear in that by no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
My Uncle looked forward to going home to be with Jesus. Most everyone that I have known who has died felt the same. I indeed have known some who have died who were not saved. Their next moments of eternity were waking up in torment in Hell. Actors and actresses can build up a scene in an act with emphasis on words and their actions in crying out "Oh GOD!". The reality of Hell is unknown trillions of people are doing just that. Begging for another chance.
We who are in Christ cannot taste death in the same way as those who are not.
We have the promises of God to stand on, to believe in, to live by.
Death, even in the life of a Believer, can be considered an answer to prayer. Our limited ability to comprehend what God says concerning answers to prayer doesn't negate the truth of God.
Look at the book of Genesis 5:21 NASB "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him." Some look at this to say he escaped death. History doesn't record his return but according to Scripture he had to have due to needing to, it is appointed for man to die, then comes the judgment.
Elijah we see leaving and a few hundred years later returns as John the Baptist, and he's not done since he will be returning again soon as one of the two Witnesses in Revelation. Moses being the other Witness.
Lazarus indeed saw death more than once. Still others in the Bible have as well. Death, to God, is a condition, not a permanent state. It's a consequence to the sin we are all born with because of Adam and Eve.
This world isn't going to enter some state of eutopia without God. Politicians make false promises and promote visions of some great and grand future. That's Satan talking.
The Bible cannot be broken in regards to any part of it not coming true. Life and death as written in its pages is what happens to all human beings.
I have no fears of death nor of dying. 2 Timothy 1:12 NASB "For this reason I also suffer these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to protect what I have entrusted to Him until that day."
The last year has seen many more changes in me because of what God is doing with me than much of the beginning years of my life. I know and am fully convinced of the truth that His return is near. I still have a light from Him that is to shine in me that hopefully draws people to want to know of the hope that I have.
You may not live past reading this post. You may not live past your morning coffee or other beverage. You may indeed live for many years. The point being is in order to have true hope you need a true relationship with Jesus. You're not going to find it in anything the world has to offer. Not in anything else.
As the hymn says "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name."
Without Christ the world cannot know what true hope is...
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