This message was part of the ‘Who needs Jesus?’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Fallowfield in autumn 2019. The full series included the following sermons:
This sermon was based on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
The Coming of the Lord
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
The Resurrection of the Dead will Follow the Pattern of Jesus Resurrection
- We will have new bodies. Jesus was resurrected with a physical body, and ours will follow in the pattern of his resurrection; all believers will have new, physical bodies.
- The fact of Jesus resurrection should give us faith for the resurrection of the dead.
- The apostles continued to follow Jesus after his death, and in most cases died for the gospel, because they saw the risen Jesus. Like Jesus, we will be resurrected when Jesus returns.
The Resurrection of the Dead is Death-Defeating for Christians
Death is the worst thing we face in this world. The apostle Paul was able to stare death in the face.
Paul, imprisoned and confronted by likely death for preaching the gospel, saw death as gain. Why? Paul was able to look ahead to what came after death.
- Death is being defeated for believers. As believers, we are in the unique position of being able to look at the worst this world has to offer, and knowing that we needn’t fear it.
- The resurrection provides great hope when processing deaths of believers.
The Resurrection of the Dead is Life-Changing for Christians
When death is defeated, life changes.
- The way we view the future affects the way we view the present.
Understanding the future God has promised us can give us amazing capacity in this life.
When we look forward to the final resurrection, to the good future that God promises us, and we see that our biggest enemy, death, will be defeated, our worries seem a lot smaller.
The sources of stress and fear in our lives seem smaller when we look forward to eternity.