Thursday, August 4, 2011

Comfort to All Believers

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep (refers to believers who have died) that you sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.” (This concerns those who do not know the Lord who will have no part in the First Resurrection of Life and, therefore, no hope for Heaven.) I Thes. 4:13

While reflecting on the thoughts I shared this week for the funeral of Sharon Green, I was struck by this truth. Believers in Christ have a tremendous advantage of living without any fear of the future. We have such a powerful hope for our future.

Our life is a temporary assignment on this earth. To make the best of life we should never forget two important truths. First, compared with eternity, life, is extremely brief. Job 8:9 says, “For we were born but yesterday,…..our days on earth are as fleeting as a shadow.” Secondly, earth is only a temporary residence - it is not our permanent home nor is it our final destination.

The Psalmist David wrote “I am only a foreigner in the land.” (119:19) Our regal citizenship is in heaven. (Philippines 3:20) As believers, our identity is eternity! Our homeland is Heaven!

I believe that in order to keep us from becoming too attached to this earth, God allows us to feel a certain amount of discontent and dissatisfaction in life - longings that are never fulfilled this side of eternity. We are not completely happy here because we’re not supposed to be. Earth is not our final home. We were created for something much better! Of course we will have happy moments here, but nothing compared to what God has planned for our future.

Our time on earth is not the complete story of our life. We must wait until Heaven for the rest of the chapters. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (I Corinthians 15:19) But it is in the “hope of Eternal Life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began.” (Titus 1:2)

Unbelievers don’t have this hope. Philippians 3:19 NLT says “They think only about this life on earth.” Vs. 20 “But we are citizens of Heaven where the Lord Jesus Christ lives.” We all should be so thankful for our hope of heaven!

Pastor Virgil Amundson