August 19, 2010
Building Strong Friendships in Christ
Together with Jesus Today
“who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.”
1 Thessalonians 5:10, Page 1850
I often go to bed much later than my wife, and I love to read books in bed. I often have four or five books on my bed. Sometimes, my wife gets in bed with me after I have fallen asleep. I love to feel her presence beside me. We have been married over 33 years, and I still love being with her everyday. I like going to work with her, talking with her, eating with her, and hanging out with her. She no longer works full time because of her illnesses, but it just means I get to see more of her. I truly enjoy living with her.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:10, Jesus wants us to know that we will live with Him forever. You see that word forever. It means everything to me. I will live with my Savior without end. Nothing will ever separate me from Him and His love (Romans 8:38-39, page 1770). Not even physical death will separate me from the love and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Notice the word asleep. As we have seen previously regarding 1 Thessalonians 4:13, sleep in this passage means the death of our physical bodies. It does not mean that we are separated from Christ. Spiritually, we continue to live with Christ. When Christ comes to the clouds to resurrect the bodies of believers, we know that Christ will bring with Him those believers who have fallen asleep. Therefore, they are alive with Him spiritually from the time their physical bodies die. At the Rapture, they will receive a resurrected body, and continue to live with Christ for eternity.
I always love the basic theology of salvation. Christ died for us, so that we might live with Him forever. He took my sins in His body on the cross, so that I may die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds we were healed (1 Peter 2:24, page 1896). He now lives in resurrected glory with all the children adopted into His family by faith. Not only do we escape the wrath to come, but we also live with Jesus forever. From the moment I asked Jesus to forgive my sins because He died for me, and believed that He heard me and forgave me, I have had eternal life. I will live with Jesus forever.
So, we learn some more about building strong friendships in Christ.
● Strong bonds of friendship form when we know that whether are awake or asleep, we will live together with Jesus for eternity.
● Strong bonds of friendship grow when we share with each other how wonderful it is to know the unending, eternal love of Jesus Christ, and to recall that He died so that we will live with Him forever.
● We harm our bonds of friendship in Christ when we imagine that anything can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ, or treat someone as if Jesus no longer loved them.
Application for Today
Today, I want to live another day of eternity with Jesus my Friend and Savior. He died so that I may live with Him forever. How many people can I encourage with that truth today?