Despair – when we lose all hope; when we do not see a way out; when we feel that our options are gone. Every time that we talk about the life everlasting a few people have questions and doubts about what is coming after death.
In the survey by the Barna Research Group we find that only 64% believe they will go to Heaven. The challenge is, when asked how they will get there, these are the answers that they gave:
43% believe they will go to Heaven because they have “confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.”
15% believe they will go to Heaven because “they tried to obey the 10 Commandments.”
15% believe they will go to Heaven because “they are basically a good person.”
6% believe that “God loves all people and will not let them perish.”
They want to give the right answer, but they are still not sure how they will get there, if they will get there at all.
When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about the life everlasting he made clear that they should have not only the right knowledge but also the right hope.
The second element that Paul mentioned in that text is the right hope. This is what he wrote in the 1Thessalonians 4:13 “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.”He did not want them to grieve like everybody else who have no hope. He wanted then to have the right hope.
It is important for us to know that hope is not wishful thinking. Hope is not positive thinking. Hope is based on faith and knowledge. Hope is in something that I do not have yet, but I know that I will have it. Hope is closely related to faith, because faith gives the certainty for our hopes.
Without hope grief will turn into desperation. We will not know what to expect. We will not know if our beloved ones are all right. We will not know if we will see our beloved ones again. As you can see hope is a very important element in our belief in life everlasting.
Job adds to our knowledge of hope. Here is the whole text where he affirms his belief in the life everlasting: “ I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;  I myself will see him with my own eyes–I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job 19: 25a – 27.”He knows that his redeemer lives and he has hope that one day he will stand up before God, with his resurrected body. Job had hope in the resurrection of the body.
My friend, do not despair, our hope does not depend on us, or in what we do. Our hope depends on Him who lives in us, Christ Jesus Himself. This is what Paul wrote: “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27.”
Have a blessed week,