Fear not; God made Heaven for us!
“1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
New International Version (NIV)
Believers Who Have Died
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
“The Gateway Bible” NIV
We lose loved ones… The one guarantee in life is a promise of death. It is inevitable, indiscriminate, and unpredictable. For those in the world who do not believe in Jesus Christ, and life after this life, death must be a tremendous sorrow. An incredible travail with no palliation or reprieve. It has to be devastating to say the least. No hope of ever again seeing individuals lost; moments of fellowship never again to be re-lived and the pain of their loss never to be relieved. What an incomparable sorrow!
But that sorrow is a lot and portion only for those ignorant of God and His infinite plan of eternal joy and peace because of their rejection of His grace and mercy. For the God i know and have come to surrender my life and death unto, is a far greater, more loving, thoughtful Father than the kind to leave an eternal destitution of that sort. The Abba i serve, created a heaven after our life on this earth. Even after Christ died and rose again, He has gone up to heaven, as He spoke of, to prepare a place for us who believe in Him. In His Father’s house are many mansions… In the words of Chuck Missler, He’s been at it for over 2,000 years!!!! That place must be incredible! 🙂
The truth is that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior, not even HE wants to lose us. As He has said so clearly, “it is not my will that any should perish.” And this world we live in now, this simulation, this test of our character in a few short years in this dimension, will indeed pass away. Like a computer program, it will be shut down and we will clock out. But not into some sort of nonexistence. We will not simply dissipate into nothingness and cease to exist! Rather, we will open our eyes from this dream into the real reality. The undeniable world where God Himself dwells and we can both see Him and all things as they truly are.
For those who have chosen to reject God, unfortunately, i can indeed promise you that separation you so earnestly dread. Your recompense for rejecting the free gift of salvation from God can only be eternal separation from Him who IS love and as such, from all that is good which you would have desired to experience evermore.
But to those who have heard, chosen to believe, and come to know the surpassing goodness and love of God, his desire for our company and worship, his destiny for us to be in loving fellowship with Him and all others who have received the same measure of grace, there is an immutable, unconquerable, inexplicable place of joy and reward like nothing else reserved. WITH God whose plan was never eternal separation, whose gospel is peace, and whose goal has been redemption since the beginning.
So yes, we will ALL lose folks. Friends, family, acquaintances, etc… We ourselves will either embrace death if Christ tarries or for those who know him and believe in Him, be caught up into the sky as Paul described when he returns for His own in the rapture. And he WILL someday. Either way, THIS existence we know, this life, this earth, is only a modicum of what IS and it will come to an end. For some, it may be an abrupt end unforeseen. For some an aged, long-awaited end. Whichever way that end occurs, it WILL occur. But it doesn’t have to be fearful. It can be a thing of rejoicing for Heaven is desired compared to his earth. This place is but a shadow of its glory and not a single person who has ever had the opportunity of glimpsing its streets would wish to return to our earth in its relative dimness.
For those who go in Christ, there is no need to fear…He made heaven for you and for me. All you need to obtain citizenship there is faith in Jesus Christ, the one who has loved you with an everlasting love and who literally prepared that place for you. For you, death is a relief when the ordained time comes, it is not a sorrow but a reward, a blessing, glory. For those who are gone in Him, we who also believe have hope, a guarantee that someday we will again rejoice with one another; never again to be torn apart by time or space because all that will be done has been done. Because a few years of work, trust, faith, and character-shaping in this place called earth and this life, this simulation, has earned us an eternal reward and rest never again to be disturbed. A few years of work, our faith in Christ the Lord, has blessed us with an eternity of peace. I think that’s worth it!!
So we do not mourn as though we have no hope! We can rejoice even in death because we know it is not the end! I acknowledge it is difficult; we miss those who have gone ahead of us, we crave their presence again, the time we’ve had, a few years or decades, are never enough! Our nature here cannot accept that gladly; and rightly so. We yearn to see them again; something that helps to keep us longing for the place we should all want to go. It’s a good thing. It keeps us tented rather than building a permanent residence in this temporary place of work. Rest assured friend, yes it is painful, loss is grievous, and yes we will weep; but our tears are collected by the Lord of love whose plan for us is great. Our tears will not be forever, our grieving only for a little while. God is always in control; even when the free will of others causes us pain and loss, He is still in control and promises us life again, REAL life forever with reunion of our loved ones and temporarily lost ones.
Let me end with this: if you reading this right now have not yet given your life to Jesus Christ, believed in His sacrifice for you, and accepted His free gift of salvation and promise of HEAVEN… You do have something to worry about. That sting of death which is eternal separation will come and it will not be pleasant. For those you have lost, it will be eternal, and for you when it is your time to vacate these premises, it will also be an everlasting afterlife of separation from God, from love, from all that is pleasant… and that is NOT a good thing.
Please my dear friend, brother, sister, choose to believe in God, in Christ His son who died for you and paid the price for your soul; who has paved the way with his love into that beautiful promised land of glory i’ve been talking about. It only requires your faith, the surrender of your will from stubbornness, and an open heart to receive what has been freely and willingly given by God to you because He DOES love you. And he has a plan not only for your life here but for your life after here.
This earth must go the way it does because of our own free will and bad choices which affect one another. Death must come because each one of us must do our part for whatever time opportune and then allow others to come have their chance as well. It is fair. It is only temporary. And this is definitely NOT all there is to life. Think of this as a job. You come in, do your work and clock out so someone else can too. But when you leave work, that when fun, rest, peace begins! That’s when you get to go home and chill, relax, enjoy yourself with family and friends. Please receive God into your heart today; i promise it will be the best end to your struggles and work after this world. That is why those in Him who die are not lost forever and we can encourage one another not to mourn excessively as though we have no hope. We DO have hope. That Hope is Christ and the guaranteed promise that will come to pass; which is that we will all rejoice again and for eternity after this place! 🙂
God bless you and i love ya! Hugs