Outline: Using the 1 Thessalonians 4 passage, we look at what the Bible teaches about death and the afterlife and the great hope that Christians are given in the face of death, under three headings.
1. What can we know about death and the afterlife?
2. What happens when we die?
3. How should we live in the light of this?
There is much confusion today about death and dying and what lies beyond - so we begin with the rock solid assurance that the scriptures speak of when it locates our hope firmly in the resurrection of Jesus. He is our trailblazer, the one who has gone through death and conquered and promises that his followers will tread the same path.
We look at the Bible’s promise that we go to be with Christ immediately after death (the thief on the cross – today you will be with me in Paradise (heaven). Here death separates our bodies from our soul/spirit but the ultimate hope for the believer is the resurrection of the body at Christ’s return and the promise of dwelling forever in the New Creation, the New Heaven and Earth (Rev21-22).
Finally, we look at questions about encouragement and grieving with hope in the face of death.