Here are my notes from the final session I attended at New Word Alive, except for the bloggers’ session:
Everyone needs a theology. Many people see all kinds of negative connotations to that word, e.g. that it is “heavy.” It is not doctrine instead of experience. It is not theology instead of how to live life better. We can’t leave theology to the experts. God doesn’t want understanding to be locked away in some ivory tower. We must live in the good of it. Without theology I am at the mercy of the world’s problems. Theology is a friend.
Hope is so critical for us. Theology gives us a hope not based on chance but on the coming of Christ. All of God’s purposes will be seen to have been fulfilled. We need to look at death in the light of Jesus’ return.
We are not agnostics, we can know. We are allowed to grieve in this world. We just don’t grieve in the same way that those do who have no hope. Jesus wept at a tomb. He was weeping for the damage and destruction that death brings, wrenching apart families. Death is not “nothing at all.” Our hope has room for tears. But we believe that death can be compared to falling asleep.
Jesus’ death and resurrection are unique events that define him, but they have consequences for us! We believe that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection those who fall asleep in him will return with him.
Remember who you are. You are born again because of what Jesus has done for us. You have an eternal hope.
Live alert and be self-controlled in light of Jesus’ coming. It is easy to get sucked into doing things because everyone does it. The Lord will turn the spotlight on every life. “He is coming” is the refrain that will help us live our lives appropriately.
Verse 7 is the opposite of what we are meant to be. There is always something sleazy about what happens in the dark. We belong to the day.
The fact that he is coming changes life and it changes death.