I look forward to “dying.” Not the process mind you, but the event. When I die I will be ushered into God’s presence by at least two angels. God will be glad to see me. I will be comforted. Everything in this life will be redeemed. Every injustice will be made right. There will be no pain… not tears… no fear. I will see Jesus! I will have heaven’s perspective on everything. I will reign with Christ. I will have a new body. I will have a new home made especially for me. I will have a name that no one else has. To die is gain!
That means for all Christians, death is a good thing! And more Christians need to have this perspective. Our best life is NOT now Mr. and Mrs. Osteen… it is yet to come. Physical death, for Christians, is a time to celebrate and be comforted as Paul wrote in 1 Thess 4:13-18,
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep (Who have died), that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 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. 16 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. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
To die in Christ is to enter life! Full life. Complete life. Eternal life.
God willing, I’ll be a Paw paw in a few weeks. Right now all my grandson knows about life is in the womb. He is comfortable and safe. But in a few weeks a process will be imposed on him he won’t like! It will be traumatic as he transitions from life in the womb to life outside the womb. There will be new sounds… light… a temperature change… and he will cry. But in reality he has gained a greater life he couldn’t conceive of while in the womb.
When Christians “die,” they transition from life as they know it to a new… eternal reality in God’s presence. Many times the transition is painful, but necessary. Thus as Paul wrote in 1 Cor 15:42-44
What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Christians never really die, they die to a new… complete… eternal LIFE!