Faithlife Sermons

+ Robert Liddell +

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1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 ESV
13 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. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Psalm 23 ESV
A Psalm of David. 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
John 14:1–6 ESV
1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
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Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” Jn 14:1
Jesus used these words a few hours before his death to instruct his disciples on how not to be troubled in death. He does not ask you to forgo you sorrow. He does not ask the impossible. Jesus is truly human, so He knows our human emotions. He, of course, is aware of the power of the resurrection, and yet, though He knew this He still shed tears at the death of his friend Lazarus.
Nevertheless, He urges us not to be troubled. How can that be?

Why Should We Not Be Anxious, Worried, When Faced with Death?

Well, there are three truths Jesus gave to His the disciples, and to you, for comfort at a moment like this.

I. Because God is Really Here for You to Believe In

Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God”—God, who created us and all that exists, who is the Almighty, who numbers the hairs of your heads, who clothes the lilies of the field, who knows when a sparrow falls to ground. He loves you more than all the things He created. He gave his only Son into death for you. You can believe in God, who made and loved each one of us, to be with us. He made and loved Bob.
The second truth Jesus gives to comfort us at a moment like this is,

II. Because Christ is a Real Savior for You to Believe In.

“Believe also in me,” Jesus said.
Remember when Jesus visited the sisters of Lazarus. His calm assurance was
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26).
Watch as Jesus is crucified, and hear him say, “ ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30).
Believe that the death of Jesus paid for all sins of all time.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn 1:7).
Hear the Easter message of the angel:
“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay” (Mt 28:5–6).
Bob believed Christ gave him life, life to the full, in his resurrection. Bob’s life was a witness to that faith.
The last truth Jesus gives to comfort us on a day like today:

III. Because There Really is a Place Prepared For You to Believe In.

Then Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (Jn 14:2.
It’s foolish to think we fully understand this picture, but we know this Word of promise comes from the One who is the way, the truth, and the life.
We give thanks for Bob’s earthly life and his Christian witness. We rejoice in his victory, the gift of eternal life, and the crown of righteousness he will wear for all eternity.
“Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Tim 4:8).
It was because of the Lord Jesus that Bob was a loving husband, a loving uncle, and a lover cats, even a menagerie. You see, Bob became a new creation in Christ when his Lord baptized him. He came through those waters, united to Christ his Lord, with a heart of faith, and love.
— And our Lord Jesus promises He will never leave those who confess Him as Lord. He will be with us and promises to do the following for us:
To strengthen our faith—so that we are not troubled by things we cannot understand, but will trust in almighty God, who made us his children through faith in Christ. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (Jn 1:12).
To strengthen our hope. We, too, know the way, as we continue to listen to his words of truth and life. He is the one who has us in his plan, in his arms, in his love. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6).
To strengthen our love—to care for one another as Christ cares for us, to help us. “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. . . We love because he first loved us” (1 Jn 4:14, 19).
This is how Jesus comforts us and all his children. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us” (1 Jn 5:14).
May we now, and at our last hour, trust in the comfort Christ has promised! Amen.
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