The Power of an Indestructible Life
On Sunday, Luke asked us to pray about one “Sorry” and one “Start-over.” A “Sorry” is something you want to overcome like guilt, or a character issue. A “Start-over” is something you want to renew like conviction, or a good habit. If appropriate, please share what you prayed for this week.
This week we’ve been studying the indestructible hope we have in Jesus. To get started, can you think of a time when something you loved broke? It could be something like a toy when you were a child, or a car while you were driving it. Please share.
1. The only hope we have that is truly indestructible is our hope in Jesus. That’s because Jesus himself is indestructible, both his life and his priesthood. For this week’s study we’ll look at 2 hopes we have in Jesus: 1) hope for this life and 2) hope for the next life.
Let’s begin with our hope for this life:
Mark 10:29-30 (English Standard Version)
29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
In your own words, what did Jesus say we can hope for in this life?
Are there any conditions or expectations to be met if we are to receive this hope? What are they?
Now let’s read about our hope for the next life:
1 Corinthians 15:17-19 (New Century Version)
17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith has nothing to it; you are still guilty of your sins. 18 And those in Christ who have already died are lost. 19 If our hope in Christ is for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone else in the world.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (New Century Version)
13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those Christians who have died so you will not be sad, as others who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and that he rose again. So, because of him, God will raise with Jesus those who have died. 15 What we tell you now is the Lord’s own message. We who are living when the Lord comes again will not go before those who have already died. 16 The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And those who have died believing in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive will be gathered up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.
How valuable do you think it is that we have hope for the next life? Why?
Why should we be “pitied more than anyone else in the world” if we only have hope in this life?
In 1 Thessalonians (as well as 1 Corinthians 15:20-28), Paul lists in order 1) the Second Coming of Christ, immediately followed by 2) the resurrection of the dead in Christ, and 3) the ascension of the saints. How does this confirm or contradict your understanding of the “End”?
Bringing it Home
Notice the command in 1 Thessalonians 4:18: “Encourage each other with these words.” This isn’t meant for you alone; it’s meant to be shared! How can you share the indestructible hope of heaven with someone in a way that is natural to you?
Notice also the sad truth Paul tells us: “others have no hope.” As Christians, we have a hope—the hope, that we can give them! Who have you invited to church or studied the Bible with this week?