With a right understanding of death and the problems of this world because of sin, along with a right understanding of what the hope of the resurrection really means for us, Paul wrote at the end of 1 Corinthians these words –
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Our labor is never in vain if God is in the business of saving this world – and He is. Our labor is never in vain if it is in the Lord because the Lord rules over heaven and earth now. One author noted that “English evangelicals gave up believing in the urgent imperative to improve society (such as we find with William Wilberforce in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries) about the same time that they gave up believing robustly in resurrection and settled for a disembodied heaven instead.” (NT Wright).
Brothers and sisters, you are not being summoned here to worship a God who rules in heaven and has called us here to remind us that one day we will finally go home to be with Him, away from this terrible place called the world. No – that is not the Christian doctrine. God so loved the world – this world – that He gave His only begotten Son – and He did so in order that the world – this world – should be saved.
You are summoned here to worship a God who rules over heaven and earth and is shaking the things of this earth that He intends to bring down in order that the things which cannot be shaken, His kingdom, would remain forever. Even if we are going to die, even if our labors appear to be accomplishing so little – nevertheless hear the Word of God: Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing (knowing) that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Come and let us worship the Lord.