‘To be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.’ 2 Corinthians 5:8 NKJV
Try as we might to avoid it, and as reluctant as we are to discuss it, each of us must release the hand of the one we love into the hand of the One who loves us most. But what happens when you die? What happens to Christians between their death and Christ’s return? Paul answers, ‘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.’ (1 Thessalonians 4:13 ESV). Scripture is surprisingly quiet about what happens to Christians in the period between their death and the resurrection of their body. (It doesn’t give us enough information to satisfy our curiosity, just enough to whet our appetite.) Paul writes: ‘For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far’ (Philippians 1:21-23 NIV). Bible scholar Anthony Hoekema says, ‘What Paul is saying here is that the moment he departs or dies, that very same moment he will be with Christ.’ Ultimately, heaven is the greatest healing of all! Your saved loved ones had pain here but have no pain there. They struggled here but have no struggles there. You may wonder why God took them home, but they don’t. Now they understand. They are, at this very moment, at peace in God’s presence.
SoulFood: Deut 18:9-18 Dan 2 Isa 47:5-15 Acts 16:16-34
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024