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. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
Modern-day hope is defined like this – “to wish for, to expect, but without certainty of the fulfillment; to desire very much, but with no real assurance of getting your desire.”
We have friends who have worked within the Muslim world who have observed that “even if they are the perfect Muslim, Allah can still send them to hell, he is not a just god. They have no assurance of life in eternity.” In other words, they have no hope. None.
As I think about that lack of hope, I am reminded of one particular doctor who claims there is nothing after this life. He grieves, now, during his life – counting the days until the end. He has no hope.
A Different Kind of Hope
But the biblical hope is different. When Paul talks about our feelings for those who have died, he encourages us to not grieve as those who have no hope.
We have a Strong and Confident Expectation
This is how the word hope is use throughout the new testament, but what is the source of our hope?
Verse fourteen tells us “since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”
Paul had seen the risen Christ. The apostles and others were eye witnesses.
He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed.