Death and Hope

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We have a hope to live; a hope for life and a hope to never experience death.  We loath the thought of death.

Death is the ultimate enemy of hope.  Death is final.  It extinguishes hope.  In death, hope ceases.

Death, its process and the inevitable coming experience on the other side of death is out of our control.

Perhaps that is why we tend to shy away from discussing death. And we are aware that it extinguishes our hope.

But does it?

For sure, death seems to end our temporal hopes.  All of it ends and eventually burns.  However, we are encouraged to migrate to and embrace an eternal hope, one that transcends the temporal, that which we see.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18: “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Accordingly, in properly understanding death, the outcome results in hope.

For in the case of physical death, which is guaranteed, as our soul lives on into eternity, our physical bodies get replaced by new ones.

1Corinthians 15:38: “But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.”

So Glory to God, the suffering in the decay of our current bodies goes away!  And replaced with some kind of new body that is imperishable! This is the great hope for the believer!

And the soul?—spiritual death is overcome to eternal life by the shed blood of Christ on our behalf.  Our soul is promised to eternity by Jesus!

That is the death we have to look forward to–It is in hope that we look forward to it.

As we consider death, this problem of the despair of a diminished current hope is solved through the promises and the integrity of the truth of His resurrection.  1 Corinthians 15:20:  “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.”  By this we have faith that our future eternity is our hope.

We know that our temporal experience-that which we see today, ceases.  The hurt and pain, destruction, wickedness, sin, injustice– all end.  And the glorious awaits.  We have hope and joy in this.

But it seems the topic of death is the elephant in the room.  Should it be?  I think not.  Death will be worthy of a current hope.

So if we know all this, let us have joy, excitement and diligence in proclaiming our Hope as He prepares us for that eventuality.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10:  “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked.  For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up in life.”

“Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.  Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord—for we walk by faith, not by sight—we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.  Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.”

So, how to live:  Matthew 6:19-20– “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in or steal.”

Giving our lives today in hope for the eventuality of our life eternal, also known as “finishing well!” is an investment worth making.

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