Hope in the Face of Death – Gospel in Life

Hope in the Face of Death

Tim Keller |  February 14, 2016

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1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
RS 364-06


The great enemy of the human race is death. And we all have to face it.

No matter how young you are, no matter how your life’s been going up to now, I can say, without fear of contradiction, that there is a lot of death in your future. And therefore, you severely need what this text talks about. It talks about hope in the face of death.

Let’s ask the text three questions: 1) Why do we need hope in the face of death? 2) How can we get hope in the face of death? and 3) If we have it, how do we use it and increase it in our life?

Sermon Summary

Comprehending the fate of those who have passed away is crucial, as it prevents us from grieving like those without hope. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ assure us that those who have died in faith will be resurrected, and we will join them in the presence of the Lord forever. As we plan for the future, it’s essential to ground ourselves in the gospel of Jesus Christ, which provides us with hope in the face of death.

1. Why do we need hope in the face of death?

The exploration of hope amidst death reveals contrasting perspectives: the stoic acceptance of death’s inevitability, the secular denial of its terribleness, and the Christian hope found in faith. A narrative of a mother explaining death to her fearful son highlights the inherent fear of death, rooted in the loss of relationships and the uncertainty of the afterlife. However, the ultimate conclusion is that death, being unknown and unpredictable, should not be feared.

2. How can we get hope in the face of death?

Death, a deviation from God’s original design, is a cause for grief and anger, as it disrupts our innate desire for permanence and connection. Yet, it’s crucial to temper this grief with hope, a gift bestowed upon us through Jesus’s resurrection and his victory over death. Now, death merely serves as a gateway to glory, a door courageously opened for us by Jesus.

3. If we have it, how do we use it in our lives and hearts?

The transformative encounter with Jesus and the confrontation of death in Christ can lead individuals to become radiant, immortal beings filled with energy, joy, wisdom, and love. The Christian promise of a future world of love in heaven is distinct from other religions’ afterlife beliefs, stressing the importance of personal consciousness in experiencing love, as without it, love cannot exist post-death. The concept of heaven, its promises, and the redemption of bodies and the world through Jesus Christ are explored, ending with a prayer for fearlessness in the face of darkness and the sharing of hope found in Christ.



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