We all love a great story. Whether it’s between the pages of a novel or displayed on the big screen, we all want the same thing, for the characters we have come to love to live happily ever after. Neal Nelson shared this thought during his recent message in our Think to Change series, [BELIEVE]-The End. Sharing from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Neal reminds us endings matter and God cares about how our story will end.
My Bible titles this section of Thessalonians, The Comfort Of Christ Coming. Here, Paul is writing a letter of encouragement to new believers at Thessalonica. The view of the afterlife was a scary concept among these new believers. They questioned, was there any hope for those believers that had died before the coming of Christ? Paul comforts them with the truth of Jesus’ resurrection. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep (1 Thessalonians 4:14).” The truth of Jesus’ resurrection replaced the fear and a uncertainty they felt. It was a comfort, a living hope for the grieving believers at Thessalonica.
Paul goes on to write, “For the lord himself will descend from the heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still 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 (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ).” Neal reminds us this is the Church’s happy ending. One day, there truly will be a happily ever after. While we wait on Christ’s return, let’s remind each other often, “And so we will always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:18).”