It is passing strange that Bible teachers should have confounded Death with the Second Coming of Christ. The former is spoken of as an “Enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26), whereas the latter is termed “that blessed hope” (Titus 2:13), and surely these two terms cannot refer to the same thing. At the Return of our Lord we shall be made like Him (1John 3:2), but believers are not made like Him at death, for death introduces them into a disembodied state. That “death” is not the believer’s Hope is clear from many Scriptures. In 1 Pet. 1:3 the apostle returns thanks because we have been begotten again “unto a living hope.” The saint of God has a living hope in a dying scene: a glorious prospect beyond this vale of tears. In 2 Tim. 4:8 the apostle Paul reminds us that there is laid up a crown of righteousness unto all them that love Christ’s “appearing,” which is further proof that death is not the Second Coming of Christ, for who is there that “loves” death? Death is my going to Christ, but His Return is Christ coming to me. Death is a cause of sadness and sorrow, but the Return of the Lord is a cause of joy and comfort- “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1Thess. 4:18, see context). Death lays the body in the dust, but at the Return of our Redeemer His people arise from the dust- “the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thess. 4:17). Death is the “wages of sin,” which means that death is the penalty of sin, but so completely has that penalty been borne by our Savior that we read, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Heb 9:28). Death was certainly not the hope of the early Christians as is clear from 1 Thess. 1:9, 10 where we read, “Ye turned to God from idols and serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven”- these Thessalonian saints were looking for Christ not death. Finally; death cannot be our Hope, for death will not be the portion of all believers as is clear from the language of 1 Cor. 15:51, “We shall not all sleep.” What then is our Hope? We answer– Our Hope is the personal Return of our Redeemer.
Taken from The Redeemer’s Return by A. W. Pink, pages52-53. Public Domain.