A dear friend of mine (David Marsh) passed away this week. Today (Thursday) his funeral service will be held. His sweet wife (Karen) and two small children (Olivia and Will) are now without their husband and daddy. David was 38 years old. Along with being a model husband and father… he was a wonderful Christian, great church member, Deacon, Committee member, and servant… who loved to laugh! David will be missed by everyone who knew him.
With his passing on my mind, I wanted to blog briefly about what happens when Christians die. By understanding what God says about this event, the sorrow we rightly have is infused with hope from God Himself!
At least two of God’s Angels come and usher the believer into the presence of God. Thus, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me!”
Some believers are given a glimpse of heaven prior to passing from this life to eternity with God. (David may have received this blessing. According to his sister He said not long before his time came, “It’s so beautiful…”)
When the believer gets to heaven, they are comforted. No more pain… no more weeping… no more troubles!
God rejoices when one of His children comes home to heaven through what we call physical death.
When Jesus returns, He will bring all believers with him to reign forever.
In glory, believers are made to be just like Jesus. If you want to know what people are like in heaven… remember what Jesus was like after the resurrection! He was tangible (Could be touched), he could be seen, he could be heard, he could eat. Yet he could appear and disappear. He could pass through walls. He could “fly” (The ascension). He was ALIVE! (Aside: There are no babies crawling around in heaven… there are no old people with glasses, canes, or walkers either. I personally believe they are what we would call adults… possibly around 33 years of age because that was Jesus’ age when he was resurrected. Just a thought… no proof.).
My prayer is that as believers we will hold these truths from Scripture close to our heart when our believing loved ones die. I pray that we will drive God’s Word deep into our spirit as we weep… knowing that there is life after death… because Jesus conquered death and the grave!
I close with what Paul wrote to Christians who were struggling with the idea of their fellow believers who were dying. It is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will becaught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Click here for a previous post: Dying Well (A Lost Christian Virtue).