November 11, 2008 - Tuesday of the Third Last Week

Today's Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Daily Lectionary: Jeremiah 23:21-40; Matthew 25:31-46

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. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

(1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)

When one thinks about life after death, eternal life, salvation and/or heaven, there are basically two groups of people - those with hope and those without hope.

The question is...are you one with hope or one without hope?

In light of the reading above, each of us knows that we are sinners doomed to death. Just look at our lives and what we do. We do sinful deeds, because we are sinners who have been sinful since birth. Perfect? God knows that we aren't.

Our problem is that such sinfulness cuts us off from God. But the LORD has taken our problem on Himself. He works it out so that we will stand before perfect and guilt-free. . There is nothing anyone can possibly do to work this problem out.

God can, however. God has worked faith in your heart to believe the Good News of God--the Good News that He sent Jesus as your redeemer. So, do you remember when that Good News was first spoken to you? For most, it was on the day of Baptism. The day Jesus washed away your sins by the water and the Word. The Bible has a promise that became effective that day: "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). That promise was not for you only, but as it is written in the Word of God: "The promise is for you and for your children" (Acts 2:39).

Living in the promise of your baptism, you have hope. You have hope because you are in Christ Jesus. And this hope is not like hoping it won't rain tomorrow or your team winning...no, not at all. This is sure, certain and will not disappoint. We have God's promise and Christ’s death behind as the guarantee.

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

No merit of my own I claim But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. (LSB 575:1)