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Sorrowing Not as the World (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Introductory Thoughts

The death of someone is a sorrowful event, but much more so for those who do not know God (the lost). Believers, on the other hand, understand that the separation of death is only temporary. For this reason, believers should find much hope after losing a loved one who knew the Lord. This loss serves as another reminder to look forward to the joys of heaven awaiting God’s people. The scenario is much different for the lost. When a lost person loses a loved one, there is no reason for hope. If the departed loved one was saved, no hope for a reunion is both real and anticipated; however, if the loved one was never saved, hell will not be a place for any joyous reunions. It is terrible to witness others lose loved ones to death without the wonderful hope offered by God to His children.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Read Proverbs 14:32b. Martha knew of that hope when her brother Lazarus died (John 11:23-27). The Pauline epistles also describe the hope that every Christian has (1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 57).
  • (For everyone): Why do believers have hope in the loss of a saved friend or family member? Where do the deceased go when they die? How do their circumstances compare with those that are left behind?
  • Have you ever been to a funeral for someone who did not know the Lord? Have you ever witnessed lost people as they mourn the passing of a loved one? Did it make you thankful for the hope that God has promised to His children?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Thank God for the hope He has given to us in death.
  • Ask God to help you witness to the lost concerning death.