If Jesus’ coming continues to delay, we all will experience physical death. My mother in law experienced this past Tuesday what we all will experience, the separation of the spirit and soul from the body. Death is separation, never extinction. Mrs. Benton and any of your friends and family that die are very much alive in the spirit world. As Christians, our faith produces a great hope for the life beyond death.
Notice Paul’s encouragement in dealing with death:
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – NLT).
Mrs. Benton is currently in heaven in spirit form. Her body lies in state at the funeral home. One day, her spirit will rejoin a glorified body that will rise from the casket where it is held in waiting for that day. Perhaps now, being separated from her body, she is clothed with a robe of righteousness that Jesus’ blood purchased for her when He cleansed her sin.
We cry tears of sadness when a one we love passes into the spirit world through the door of death. But they are full of joy if they enter heaven. And our tears are really for us. We cry because we can’t make contact with them again until our day of death or until Jesus comes back in the rapture of the church. Either way, our hope in death is that we will see those we love again, in a pristine world of perfection, fulfillment, joy, peace, rest, comfort, and intimacy. There we will know and experience in fullness what we now only partially know and experience here.
If you are reading this, and you’re not a Christian, please hear me out a moment. Death is coming your way. Someone aptly said you’re not reading to live until you’re ready to die. Jesus said, Except a man be born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. He also said I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes unto the Father except through me. We cannot escape death. No new anti-aging formulas can keep death away. It’s coming. Please be ready. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth in human form to live as a man, and to pay your sin penalty. You and I are sinners by birth. We are a fallen race. We are separated from God because of the disobedience of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. We are spiritually dead, which means we are separated from God spiritually. We experience physical death because of spiritual death. The Bible speaks of one more kind of death, the Second Death. This death is eternal separation from God and from all that is good, loving, and right. This Second Death is experienced by those who leave their physical body in death without trusting Jesus Christ as their savior from sin.
Prepare yourself for your appointment with death now by changing your mind about how you live your life. Ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sin. Ask Him to change who you are inside. Romans 10:9-10 says that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved from your sin. With your heart you believe that Jesus forgives your sin, and with your mouth in prayer you can tell Him that you believe in Him and ask Him to rule your life today. If you do this, you’ll be ready for death, and that day will be a day of graduation to heaven instead of a day of judgment!
For God loved the world so much that he gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him (John 3:16-17-NLT).