“Passing from DEATH unto LIFE!”–John 5:24
World-famous newspaper editor and writer, Arthur Brisbane, once pictured a crowd of grieving caterpillars carrying an empty cocoon to its final resting place. The poor, distressed caterpillars, clad in black raiment, were weeping and grieving for their lost companion, yet all the while the beautiful butterfly fluttered happily above, forever freed from its earthly shell!
Needless to say, Brisbane had the average funeral in mind and sought to convey the idea that when our loved ones pass, it is foolish to remember only the cocoon, concentrating our attention on the remains, while forgetting the bright beautiful butterfly!
That’s the wonderful thing when you have FAITH in GOD: You don’t have to grieve hopelessly and mourn with inconsolable sorrow when loved ones go on to be with the Lord. Of course, bidding a loved one farewell is in some ways a sad occasion, but if you and they love Jesus, you know you’ll see them AGAIN. And though you will miss them, you can be HAPPY for them, knowing that they are finally free from all the trials and troubles of their old earthly body, and have gone on to a far better life and Home!
Right now we’re burdened by our mortal bodies, but once we leave this life and pass from the flesh into the spirit, we won’t have this weight any more! It will be something like astronauts feel in their weightlessness. We’ll no longer be burdened by the flesh and the problems of physical life. We will GRADUATE from this temporary grade of earthly life and pass into the eternal Heavenly Realm of the spirit.–2 Corinthians 4:18.
Recently a number of prominent doctors have observed and reported on hundreds of cases of what they call “clinical deaths”. Their patients actually died, and all vital functions ceased for from several minutes up to a half-an-hour, but then they REVIVED! Hundreds of these survivors of death shared amazingly similar testimonies of wonderful life-after-death experiences!
Almost all of them said it was a marvellous feeling, like floating on air, no longer weighed down by their bodies. Their anxieties and worries suddenly vanished as they realised that although they were dead, they were still very much alive in the spirit, and that God was lovingly caring for them. In almost every account, those who returned from such experiences experienced a great change in their outlook on life. They were more loving, full of faith and purpose for living, knowing that they had somehow been spared from death so that they could return and fulfil their mission in this life. (For documented accounts taken from more than 200 different occurrences, see the now-famous book by Dr. R.A. Moody: “Life After Life!”)
Most people try to hide from death. They don’t like to think about it. Yet it’s something that is going to happen to everyone sooner or later, but most people just ignore it and make no PREPARATIONS for it whatsoever. Of course, most people don’t worry much about dying when they’re young and death seems so far away. But when you suddenly come face-to-face with death, either through illness, injury or even old age, if you don’t personally know the LORD and His PLAN for your SALVATION, it can be a very frightening prospect–that of plunging into the unknown!
The Bible talks about those “who all their lifetimes live in bondage through fear of death!”–Hebrews 2:14,15. The reason most people fear death is because they’re not PREPARED to die. But with Jesus as your guide, death is no problem, no cause for alarm. As a CHRISTIAN, you KNOW where you’re going–Home to Heaven–and you have nothing to fear, because you’re READY to go!
Death for a born-again Child of God is no loss, “for to die is GAIN!”–Philippians 1:21. “To be ABSENT from the BODY is to be PRESENT with the LORD.”–2 Corinthians 5:8. Our troubles are over! There may be a little bit of pain for a moment, because of this physical body, but then we’re FREE! It’s a sudden RELEASE! It will be wonderful!
Death will be sweet release to a new World and a new life! These old bodies are so heavy, they get tired, hurt and sick. But the minute we die, we’re instantly liberated from the shackles of the flesh into the boundless World of the Spirit! This is why the Apostle Paul fearlessly flaunted these words in the face of death: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”–1 Corinthians 15:55. Jesus took the sting out of it. We pass THROUGH death, yes, but without sting–through the grave with victory for US, not the grave! Thank the Lord! It’s a HOMEGOING, a relief, a deliverance, it’s our CORONATION DAY!
For us, the end of the road will be just the beginning! We’ll meet our departed loved ones again and find our lost loves and be joined with them eternally in everlasting happiness in an eternal life of love and joy and heavenly happiness forever with the God of Love and those we love!
What beautiful and comforting words the Lord speaks to us: “Oh what a day that shall be when thou shalt join with Me in My kingdom to reign with Me for evermore! Thou shalt have such JOY that thou hast never known, and shalt see such glories that thou hast never seen, and shalt know that it has been worth it all!
“For I am the RESURRECTION and the LIFE, and he that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live! And he that believeth in Me shall NEVER die, but shall rise to life and love and hope in a land with children that shall live forever in Me and My House that I have gone to prepare for that which cannot die but shall live forever!”–John 11:25,26; 14:1-4.
As the beautiful old hymn says,
“When morning dawns, farewell to Earthly sorrow!
Farewell to all the troubles of today!
There’ll be no pain, no death in God’s tomorrow,
When morning dawns and shadows flee away!
How little then these trials of life will seem,
How light the heavy burdens we have borne!
The deepest sorrow, like a passing dream,
Will be forgotten in that blessed morn!”
LIFE AFTER DEATH–WHAT IT’S LIKE!
The Spirit World is not so terribly different from this present existence that we can’t even comprehend or understand it. Otherwise, when we got ushered into it we would be completely lost. It would be too totally different, we wouldn’t even be able to relate to it.
But according to God’s Word, we are going to be much the same as we are now, except that we’re going to have SUPERNATURAL BODIES, bodies like the Lord had when He was resurrected.–Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:2. Jesus was able to materialise or dematerialise, appear or disappear! Think of that! He could pass from one dimension to the other through locked doors and solid walls!–John 20:19,26.
Our old, decaying, natural, physical body will go back to the dust.–We’ll trade in our old worn-out, EARTHLY model for an entirely new HEAVENLY model that can even fly, and with a lot more power than we ever dreamed of! With our new spiritual bodies we’ll be able to move, not with the slow speed of light, but with the speed of THOUGHT! All you’ll have to do is THINK yourself someplace and you’ll be there!
But just because you’ll have a spiritual body doesn’t mean you won’t be human. You’re going to have a lot of the same characteristics that you have now, just as Jesus did after His resurrection. He could even eat and drink and they could still touch Him as well as see Him, and yet He was in a miraculous supernatural body, His new resurrected body!–Luke 24:36-43. It’s STILL going to be YOU! You’re even going to look a lot the same, only better–much better! And you’ll be better off and in more direct communication with the Lord, experiencing the fullness of God’s Love and the realities of the World to come!
PARDON FROM DEATH
Contrary to the views of many, God is not a cruel tyrant, not a monster who is trying to frighten everyone into Hell, but a merciful God Who is trying to LOVE everyone into HEAVEN! “For God is LOVE!”–1 John 4:8.–He wants to help and save you and make you happy with His Love. In fact, this is why He created you: To love and enjoy Him forever–to enjoy THIS life as well as life AFTER death!
But sad to say, at some time or other we’ve all been selfish, mean, unloving or unkind to others–and even to God! “For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.”–Romans 3:23. We don’t deserve to go to Heaven! But the Bible says that although “…the wages of sin is death, the GIFT of God is ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ, our Lord!”–Romans 6:23.
Receiving God’s free gift of Eternal Life is just like a PARDON from the guilt of sin. God loves you so much, He gave Jesus to die in your place, to take your punishment for you.–John 3:16. This is why Jesus could promise to those that believe on Him: “Thou shalt not taste of death!”–Matthew 16:28. If we receive Jesus and His free gift of Eternal Life, we’ll never really die in the sense of spiritual death, or taste the agony of separation from God when we die. “He that hears My Word and believes on Him that sent me has everlasting life and shall NOT come into CONDEMNATION, but is PASSED from DEATH into LIFE!”–John 5:24.
If you haven’t yet received Jesus into your heart, you can right now, today, by praying this simple prayer:
“Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God and that You died for me. Please forgive me for all my sins. I ask You, Jesus, to come into my heart and give me Your free Gift of Eternal Life! Help me to love You and to love others by telling them about You and Your Love and Truth.–In Jesus’ name I pray.”
With Jesus in your heart you have made the most important preparation for your life, as well as your death! And when your time comes to die, well, hallelujah!–Then you’ve finished your Earthly task!–It will be your GRADUATION to the Heavenly World of the Hereafter with a crown of glorious eternal life with Him and your loved ones forever! We who know Jesus will then awaken in the Heavenly Kingdom of God with peace and plenty and love for all forever!
–Are YOU ready?
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