“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”
The backdrop of today’s text is not a difficult one to conceive. Christians were being killed on a daily basis because of their faith. It is possible that quite a number of them had died of natural causes. So, Paul decides to address the issue.
He writes a letter, but it is beyond a letter of consolation. It is one of hope. He does not accuse them of not praying enough, neither does he call a prayer conference against death, instead, his message is “don’t sorrow as others who have no hope.” Why? For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus (1 Thess 4:14).
So, if that person is in Christ, he is not really dead, but asleep. He will rise again. It is not a question of ‘if’ but of ‘when.’ Anyone who believes in Christ will never ‘die’ (John 11:26)
Paul is not trying to sound unrealistic. He wrote this letter while in prison for the cause of the gospel. He himself later died for the cause of the gospel.
He said with great confidence: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Php 1:21). This should be the disposition of the man in Christ; he is more concerned about making his days count than prolonging his days.
Your faith in Christ moves beyond securing your life here on the earth. It gives you a higher security and hope. It is a hope that does not fade, reserved in heaven for you (1 Pet 1:4).
DO THIS: Pray for and preach to your loved ones who are not yet saved. Don’t let them die without Christ. Pray for strength for believers who have lost a loved one.