It is always sad to hear that a loved one has died. As a minister of Jesus Christ for over 40 years, I have never found it easy to preach a funeral. It just never has been easy to deal with the sadness death brings. Death is something we usually don’t want to think about until we are forced to when it happens to someone we know or if we ourselves are facing it. When that happens, we need to be comforted. There is no more comforting knowledge than that which is revealed in the Word of God, the Bible.
So how does God see death? For you and me, life is all we know, all we have personally experienced. But we also know death is the final part of the cycle of life. Why? Why does a loving God permit it?
The truth is, God looks at death very differently from the way humans do. In fact, He looks at everything differently from the way we do. He calls death an enemy, the last enemy to be destroyed in His great plan of salvation. We know very well, don’t we, the pain that enemy can inflict! The sorrow is immeasurable when we experience the traumatic death of a child or heartbreaking loss of a spouse or friend. If life is just for the here and now—if the enemy cannot be defeated—then there is no comfort against the grief. The good news is, in God’s plan, there is more to death than just its misery!
The New Testament says, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” That judgment includes a resurrection to life for those who have followed in the footsteps of Jesus Christ in their physical life, and an opportunity to attain to life for most others.
One of the most comforting passages in the Word of God is found in the book of 1 Corinthians, chapter 15, where Paul says, “Christ will bring life to all of us. But we must each wait our turn. Christ was the first to be raised to life, and his people will be raised to life when he returns” [verses 22-23, Contemporary English Version].
This raising of the dead is known as the “resurrection.” It is an essential part of God’s plan of salvation and is so important in understanding how God views death. The Scriptures reveal that death is likened to being asleep. There is a time coming when the dead are awakened from that sleep. The wonderful truth of a future resurrection is essential in understanding how God views death.
God has a compassionate plan of salvation that includes forgiveness of sin and the opportunity for all people to live forever. The time is coming when Jesus Christ will return to this earth and set up the wonderful Kingdom of God.
For a true follower of Jesus Christ—even though the trauma of death can be heart-wrenching, cutting to the soul—we share the deeply comforting belief in the brilliant future God has in store for everyone. It brings a peace of mind that comes from knowing the true God. Whether one is coping with the loss of that little life that prematurely ended or the loss of one’s love of 50 years, what we have is the knowledge and assurance that they will be allowed to live again at the time of the resurrection. That future world is the Kingdom of God, and that time is just ahead.
Why not begin the transition from mortal to immortal? Join God’s people by living the way of life taught by Jesus Christ the Savior, worshipping, honoring and learning about the God who promises every true follower joy in this life, as well as life beyond the grave in an immortal family called the Kingdom of God.
For Life, Hope & Truth, I am Britton Taylor.