Word of Encouragement from Pastor Eugene Thursday, October 22, 2020

As I sit down to write this, I am thinking about the death this week of two men that I knew.  They were first cousins to each other and approximately ten years apart in age—their dads were brothers.  One of those men was my last living uncle—my dad’s only brother making the other also my cousin.  Due to my dad being older than his brother, I am only sixteen years younger than my uncle and six years younger than my cousin.  So, I grew up looking up to my uncle and being around my cousin.  I remember my uncle going to Korea during the war there and, most of all, coming home safely.  I remember seeing my cousin at the little country church where we attended and his being old enough to have and drive a car.  The memories go on from there.  Both of these men became men who were well respected by all who knew them. I personally have witnessed their lives and honor them for the men that they became.
The good news is that they both knew Jesus.  So, I was also thinking about the scripture in 1 Corinthians 15:19 “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”  The apostle Paul expressed this when he was addressing a question that the church at Corinth had about the resurrection.  They had begun to wonder whether or not there would be really be a resurrection of the dead.  This declaration was his lead in to proclaiming that there would be a resurrection for those believers who were asleep (had died) in Christ Jesus.  Jesus Himself had risen from the dead gaining victory over death.  Since He had conquered death, He was also going to return to raise them from the grave and give them a new body, same as He, and that they would live forever with Him.
We have all faced losing a loved one and dealing with the feelings and thoughts that go with that.  Believers have a hope that goes beyond the grave—the promise of a new life to come with Christ.  My interpretation of the verse above is that when we come to know Jesus, accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we have a new life that is special while here on earth.  But, if that is all there was to it—if when we died that was it; nothing else, how miserable, how pitiful that would be!  But instead, when we have the promise of the resurrection, a new life eternal with Jesus—that is a hope that inspires.  Be encouraged and lifted up!  
Pastor Eugene
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