We are gathered this morning to pay tribute to __________. We are also here to offer our love and comfort one to another.
Nearly 2000 years ago the Apostle Paul, a disciple of our Lord Jesus offered words of comfort to believers who had lost a loved one. His words are communicated to us through the Holy Scriptures
In 1 Thes. 4:13, 14 he offers information to us concerning those who have fallen asleep in death. He urges us not to sorrow as others who have no hope for a future life. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so all who sleep in Jesus will God bring forth again. 1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14 [But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.]
It is a normal thing for us to sorrow when a loved one is taken from out midst. The closer we have been, the greater the void when they are gone, but the thought is that even in this time of grief Christian believers are offered a bright ray of hope from our comforter, our Lord Jesus Christ.
That hope is, there will be a resurrection of the dead. In the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians the apostle offers many details concerning the resurrection hope which is the centerpiece of the Christian Faith, “how that Christ died for our sins, and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day.”
The doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is one of the most important teachings of the Christian Church, “for if there be no resurrection of the death, then is Christ not risen our preaching is vain and your faith is in vain.”
The only hope of mankind is to be raised from the condition of death which awaits us and if there is no resurrection all who have fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
But the wonderful words of life have been announced in the Word of God. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 [But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.]
1 Timothy 2:5,6 [For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.]
The corresponding price has been paid, the price has been accepted, the center point of God’s plan is completed. Jesus willingly offered himself as a sacrifice, he died for our sins.
Jesus ascended unto heaven and sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High. He is a Divine being and he has offered to those believers who would become his footstep followers a similar reward, to be like he is.
He has offered them exceeding great and precious promises, a heavenly reward, a change of nature from human to spiritual, to become immortal divine beings, and with Jesus as their head they are the Christ, the promised seed of Abraham who will bless all the families of the Earth.
The selection and testing of this little flock has taken a long time even though their numbers are few, “Many are called, few are chosen.”
Are we then to believe that God’s plan for redemption of mankind is going to benefit only a few? Was Jesus sacrifice only for the Saints? The answer is found everywhere in the word of God. Jesus and His Glorified Church will reign over the world of mankind for 1000 years. “Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man.”
They will judge the world in righteousness, they will bless, they will heal, they will raise the dead, one by one from their graves and gradually bring them up to the perfection that was lost, that they may as perfect sons and daughters, receive eternal life, here on a then finished Earth.
Psalms 37:29 [The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.]
The Sermon of Jesus on the mount in Matthew 5:5 [Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.]
Psalms 115:16 [The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.]
Does the Word of God teach us there is to be an Earthly Kingdom as well as a Heavenly Kingdom? Yes! The Kingdom of God is undoubtedly the most prominent topic in the Bible.
The opening pages of the Bible record the creation and the fall of man. It’s closing pages tell us of man’s recovery from that path, the establishment of the earthly kingdom and all the obedient sons and daughters of Adam, to be kings and queens unto Almighty God. The intervening pages tell of God’s plan for the accomplishment of this praise worthy purpose.
John the Baptist, who was the herald and forerunner of our Lord began his public ministry with the message of the Kingdom. “Repent ye, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
Of Jesus, it is written in Luke 8:1 [And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,]
Jesus sent the 12 and then the 70 forth with the same message, “And as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand.”
In Matthew 24:14 [And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.] our Lord is the authority, that this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come. The end of of what? The end of this evil dispensation, and the inauguration of the kingdom, for which our Lord has taught us to pray saying “Our Father which art in Heaven Hallowed be thy name: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is done in Heaven.”
In Acts 3:19-21 [Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.] we are promised that times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you. Whom the heaven must receive until the times of Restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His Holy Prophets since the world began.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for him that love him. But God hath revealed them to us by His Spirit
You will receive your dead back from the grave. You will all have an opportunity for everlasting life. The Word of God promises it. The sacrifice of Jesus guarantees it.