By Andy Duffey (Pastor at the Antioch Church of the Brethren (VA))
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 “…we will be with the Lord forever…”
Resurrection is complicated. Its about looking backwards (Jesus’ resurrection). It’s about looking forwards (Our own eternal resurrection). And it’s also about looking around. Resurrection is happening all around!
When Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians, one of his goals was to encourage folks living under pressure. He wanted to remind them that whatever life was like for them NOW, it would not ALWAYS be that way. What Jesus started when he left that tomb behind is still going on. Death will not have the last word. Life does. God does. Love does! So we have this amazing life to look forward to, not just everlasting life, but life “with God,” who is by nature, perfect love. No more death. No more evil. No more shame. This is the vision Paul uses to give hope…
Good News: No matter what pressure we face, Jesus’ resurrection promises us life with God forever, beginning now!
Discussion Question: What do you hope life with God will be like? How can you begin living “life with the Lord” right now?
Go one step further: Spend some time imagining life in perfect relationship with God and God’s new creation. Draw a picture of what you imagine life will be like in the new creation. Picture your resurrected self. Picture God/Jesus/the Spirit. Picture the rest of the world. Place this picture somewhere to remind you of the hope we have, even when times are hard.