Sheldonville Baptist Church
Sunday Morning January 17, 2021
      • Bible Trivia
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      • Psalm 119:81–88NKJV

  • Wake Up My Soul
  • Come Into His Presence
  • Majesty
  • We Will Glorify
  • In My Heart There Rings A Melody
  • He's Able
  • Memory Verse

    1 Thessalonians 5:8 NKJV
    8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

    Introduction

    What do most people fear? According to one web site (https://www.youper.ai/most-common-fears), people’s most common fears are:
    Social Anxiety (this fear involves a broad range of situations in which people are afraid to interact with other people, includes public speaking!)
    Fear of Heights
    Fear of Bugs, Snakes, or Spiders
    Fear of Closed Spaces
    Fear of Flying
    Fear of the Dark
    Fear of Getting A Disease
    Fear of Blood
    Fear of Violent Weather
    Fear of Dying
    Not sure why fear of dying is listed tenth; maybe we don’t face it often or it is too existential, but it is a significant fear that we all have.
    Death is an experiential unknown
    Death is a separation from all that we know and love
    Death is certain
    Death is shared…those who know and love us are significantly impacted by our death
    Death often renders those who are left behind with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Anyone who has lived for any length of time has either seen this in others or experienced it themselves.

    Transition

    Facing death is something we must learn to do. The Apostle Paul knew this and offered instruction to the Believers in Thessalonica.

    Instruction

    1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 NKJV
    13 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. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

    Hopelessness founders in ignorance

    The Believers in Thessalonica were concerned that their dead would be left behind when Jesus returns
    Most people do not truly know what happens to someone when they die.
    There are many competing theories
    Lack of knowledge leaves us stuck in the painful, present reality of separation and loss

    Hope is rooted in knowledge

    Answering this specific concern, the living believer would not go before their dead, they would go with them
    In the broader conversation
    we know that believers are immediately with the Lord upon their death
    we know that we will see them again
    that confident expectation of that better future gives us hope
    How do we know this?
    Philippians 1:20–24 NKJV
    20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.
    2 Corinthians 5:6–8 NKJV
    6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

    Help comes in uncertainty

    What about when the person was an unbeliever, or we are not sure?
    Philippians 4:6–7 NKJV
    6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
    My first solo funeral was my grandmother. My grandmother had heard the gospel on numerous occasions but was clearly uninterested in it. To the best of my knowledge, she died an unbeliever. Looking from the outside, you might think that my knowledge might have caused hopelessness, but that was not the case. I knew that she had her chance and God’s peace, which did not make sense, was a very real source of comfort and hope even in that situation.

    Conclusion

    It is not a stretch to say that death, or dying, is the some of all of our fears. Yet even in death, hope is the confident expectation of a better future—a future that is known, to a degree, and assured.

    Application

    What is it in your life that robs you of hope? if God can give us hope in the face of death, does it make sense that anything in life should steal our hope? I don’t think it should. But at the same time, I know that it does. Except that it doesn’t steal our hope, we give it away. Don’t!
      • 1 Thessalonians 5:8NKJV

      • 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18NKJV

      • Philippians 1:20–24NKJV

      • 2 Corinthians 5:6–8NKJV

      • Philippians 4:6–7NKJV

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