Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 20, 2012

Comfort One Another

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
 
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.
 
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
 
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain 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 shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
 
17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
 
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.”  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
 
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The comfort of today’s Scripture is not only that we who are alive will be raised to “always be with the Lord”;  the comfort of today’s Scripture is that our beloved deceased ones (“those who are asleep”) will also be raised and that we shall be “together with them” always with the Lord.  “Therefore comfort one another with these words.”  Verse 18.
 
Eschatology is a “branch of theology” concerning “death, the end of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humankind;  specifically:  any of various Christian doctrines concerning the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, or the Last Judgment”.  Click here: Eschatology – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary  Today’s Scripture, the Book of Revelations, and other Scripture provide the basis for the study and formation of eschatology.   
 
Sometimes, eschatology is wrongly used by some preachers and teachers as a club to prove what a great Bible scholar that they are and to do battle with others.  They may try to complicate and scare others to get them to cling to them.  They may try to get people to reject other preachers and teachers altogether because of some small detail of the eschatology beliefs of these other preachers and teachers that they claim is wrong.  But, today’s Scripture instructs us that one of the purposes of these words is to “comfort one another”. 
 
William Hendricksen in his book More than Conquerors:  An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation is a good example of how we should handle eschatology.  His scholarship is very detailed and excellent, but he is not condescending nor difficult to comprehend.  One of his purposes is to simplify and comfort Christians.  Click here: Amazon.com: More Than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation (9780801057922): William Hendriksen:  
 
The Heidelberg Catechism also does a great job to simplify and comfort Christians, starting in the very first Question and Answer.
 
Question 1.  What is thy only comfort in life and death?
 
Answer.  That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ;  who, with his precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil;  and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.
 
And, this should also be one of the purposes of our preaching and teaching:  to simplify and comfort Christians.

Responses

  1. Wise words…just what I needed today. I particularly appreciated the encouragement that the Lord is the source of our ability to give…il

    • Praise God for both His comfort to us and for enabling us to give comfort to one another. Thank you for your comment.


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