Title: WHAT’S ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR?
Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:11
I come today to share a message of hope. It’s a message, that if taken to heart, can defeat your biggest enemy…banish your biggest threat…and dissolve your biggest fear. What enemy, threat and fear do we all have in common? It’s death! What can defeat, banish and dissolve death? It’s an intimate relationship with the Giver of Life…the One whose voice calls forth dead men out of tombs!! (Pray)
A very sick man was wrapping up his appointment with his doctor and was about to leave the office. As he approached the door he turned and said, “Doc, I’m afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.”
Very quietly the doctor said, “I don’t know.”
As the man held the handle to the door, on the other side came a scratching sound and whining. When he opened the door, his dog sprang in and leapt up on his chest.
The doctor then said, “Your dog just gave me an insight. He has never been in this room before. He did not know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when you opened the door, he eagerly entered without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing…I know my Master is there. And when the door opens, I shall pass through without fear…I will enter just as enthusiastically.”
Since I don’t see your tails wagging enthusiastically yet, I’m going to throw you a bone. Open your Bible to 1 Thessalonians 4:13.
I. 4:13-15 GRIEVE WITH OR WITHOUT HOPE…IT’S YOUR CHOICE.
A. Some people don’t like to talk about death because they don’t like to be reminded of their own death.
B. But he that has the promise to live forever should never fear dying.
C. When you settle the future outcome of your soul with the Lord…you will view death as the final gift from Him so that you can leave this earth and go to Him.
D. Death has been called by some as the last sleep. No…it is the door to the final awakening!
II. 4:16-17 NOT EVERYONE HEARS THE TRUMPET.
A. Did you notice “who” responds to the trumpet call? (the dead in Christ)
B. What about the rest…those who don’t belong to Christ? Rev. 20:4-6
III. 4:17 IF YOU HEAR THE TRUMPET, YOU STAY FOREVER.
A. “We shall always be with the Lord.” …never to leave the Lord’s presence again…never to be deceived by the Devil again…never to leave the side of the Great Shepherd.
B. Not hearing the trumpet is NOT a matter of poor hearing…it’s a matter of not having a “signal receiver” in your soul…and that’s the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit that God deposits in those who know Jesus as their Savior.
IV. 5:1-10 (pay attention to PP) YOUR PERSONAL PRONOUN MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE.
A. Right away you see two groups: “You” and “They.”
B. “You” – recipients of the letter – Church at Thessalonica. “They” – non-believers. *5:9
C. Which personal pronoun describes you? If you’d like to change your personal pronoun, come talk to me or any of the prayer warriors at the end of the service.
V. WHAT DO WE DO WHILE WE WAIT FOR THE TRUMPET? 5:8, 10
A. Faith, hope and love have always endured forever. They are the same elements that are going to see you through tough times…especially the tough times that will be unequalled just before Jesus returns.
B. Then Paul tells us to encourage one another and build up one another. We need that, don’t we?
C. There’s no place for tearing down one another among those who are struggling against the world and waiting for the Lord to take us out of here. It has no place in the Body of Christ…in your marriage…or anyone near you. Encouragement is EVERYBODY’S need!
What’s on the other side of death’s door? 1 Cor. 15:51-57; Rev. 20:11-15
The leaves are starting to fall from the Fruitless Mulberry tree in my front yard. Right now I can clean them up when I mow the lawn, but soon that won’t work and I will have to rake them. The leaves fall because they have died. If you don’t mind them lying on your lawn, they would eventually become natural fertilizer that gives life back to the earth. I wish I could convince my wife that cleaning them up is interrupting God’s original recycle program.
Fall is the season when certain trees and plants become dormant and prepare for the long, cold winter. Parts of the plant have to die, like the leaves…but beneath the surface lies the bulb or roots that come to life in the Spring.
God has put in nature His wonderful salvation story that those who have fallen asleep in Christ are raised to new life.
There are natural seasons to our year and a time for leaves to fall. There are also seasons to our lives. The wise man is the one who makes preparation for the Spring.
If I don’t see you again here…I hope to see you next Spring when I awaken from my sleep. You see, I’m intimate friends with the Giver of Life. Psalms says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” (116:15)