The Gathering | 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 | Sermon by Pastor Colin Smith





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Published on Apr 2, 2012

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The Gathering
#5/9: The Inside Story of Your Future Life
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

February 4th / 5th 2012
by Pastor Colin S. Smith

"We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who fall asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope." 1 Thessalonians 4:13

The subject before us is full of joy for every Christian, and today I want to bring a word of hope and comfort. First, for all who have lost a loved one in Christ, you experience grief, sorrow and loss. There is a word of hope and comfort for you today.

I want to speak to all who've gone through the experience of losing a child, and every woman who's experienced a miscarriage. A life was formed in you, but you never saw his or her face. You believe human life begins at conception, so you often wonder about that life. What came of that little life? I have a word of hope and comfort for you today.

Then I have been thinking again about the awful holocaust of abortion that has cast such a dark shadow over our entire land. Nearly 50 million lives have been snuffed out through abortion since 1973, well over a million in our country each year. More than one in five of all pregnancies end in abortion.[1] What comes of these millions who were given life, but never saw the light of this world?

What can we say to the mothers and fathers, who look back on a choice that they made, and now they look back on it with regret? Many live with a sense of guilt that remains. There is a word of comfort and hope for you and with the help of God I want to bring it today.

What happens when a Christian dies
"...the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him." 2 Thessalonians 2:1

Christ is going to gather all His people, when He comes in glory, and take us home. Jesus said, "I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself that where I am, you may be also" (John 14:3).

Christ will "gather his wheat into the barn" (Matthew 3:12). Later he says, "They will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds" (24:30-31).

In the Old Testament, Christ is already gathering His people: "Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age... and was gathered to his people" (Genesis 25:8). I love that word gathered as a description of what happens when a Christian dies. God gathered him together with those who were already safe through Christ.

Not just Abraham, but "Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days" (Genesis 35:29). And when Jacob was about to die, he said to his family, "I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers..." (49:29).

Here is a wonderful statement of what happens when a Christian dies: God gathers you with the people who belong to Him. The gathering has already begun, but one day it will be complete. We read about that day in 1 Thessalonians 4, and I invite you to open your Bible there today...

"We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who fall asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope." 1 Thessalonians 4:13


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