15th Jun, 2023
When you lose a loved one.
"I want you to know what happens to a Christian when he dies." 1Th 4:13 TLB
Do you remember the first time death forced you to say the final goodbye to a loved one? At the funeral you heard words like departed, passed on, gone ahead.
These were unfamiliar terms. You wondered, "Departed to where? Passed on to what? Gone ahead for how long?" When someone dies after a full life, you can accept that. But what if they die as a result of violence? Or after a long battle with illness? Now your dreams are buried as they lower the casket into the ground.
Paul writes: "I want you to know what happens to a Christian when he dies so that when it happens, you will not be full of sorrow, as those are who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and then came back to life again, we can also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him all the Christians who have died" (vv.13-14 TLB). Those words turn our hopeless sorrow into hope-filled sorrow. How? By assuring us that we will see our loved ones again. Isn't that what we desire to believe? We long to know our loved ones are safe in death. We yearn for the reassurance that the soul goes instantly to be with God. But do we dare to believe it? According to the Scriptures, yes! At death a Christian immediately enters the presence of God and delights in conscious fellowship with the Father and with others who have gone before. These words on a believer's tombstone say it all:
"The parting is for a moment, but the meeting will be for eternity."
"The parting is for a moment."