2 Timothy 4:6-8 “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.”
Death is closing the door behind us, when we come home.
For we must all pass through this door, unless we are alive at the time of Rapture.
Death is closing our eyes here on earth, and that same moment, opening them in heaven with our Lord. (Death for the Christian is called “sleep”.)
Acts 7:59-60 “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge, and when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
(Some have likened it to a river we must ford….then let us remember the Jordon crossing by Israel.
The Ark (God’s Presence) went in first, on the backs of the priests….they walked in the overflowing waters…..
……and as they did, the waters above, backed up….the ground beneath dried up….and Israel walked across dry shod.
Christ has gone before us….and has made the overflowing waters of the fears, regrets, and sorrows…..
……back up….back away from us….as we follow Him into this river of death.
Psalm 48:14 “For this God is our God forever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.”)
(Eighteen times in scripture it is written the “shadow of death”…
of course we all know Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me;….”.
Someone has said that when there are shadows, there is always light shining somewhere…..Our Light…..the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit within……will not leave us…we are to walk through death as we walked along with Him, since we were born again….it is just a walk with God.)
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 “So when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Our body lies in the ground, but our soul and spirit rise to heaven….until that time when our bodies, too, will rise in resurrection….a glorified body (at the Rapture)….and we will be united again…..in heaven…..for “corruption hath put on incorruption”. (Resurrection always includes the body)
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
This is the Rapture described….the first resurrection.
(There is a second resurrection….when the unsaved dead will rise….only to be judged before God….and sent to the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:10-15
This will be after the seven years Tribulation, and the thousand year Reign of Christ. Revelation 20:7-9)
I believe death is the last trial we will go through. As with all trials, the Lord beckons us to follow Him into it, trusting Him…going through it…..and out the other side….for He has already had the victory.
Hebrews 2:9, 14-15 “But we see Jesus, Who is made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor: that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil;
And deliver them, who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
There is a verse I love from Daniel…..
Daniel 12:13 “But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”
Daniel, had just see a vision of Christ, and heard of the terrible times ahead for his people……..he had been told to “seal the book”….
….then, the Lord told him to….
…”Go on Daniel….finish your work here on earth….for you shall die….”rest” from the work. But then when I come and establish My kingdom……you shall stand in your place before Me.”
And like Daniel…..here and now….we are called to:
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
God’s Promise to all of His…..is to carry us through this life….though death…..into His everlasting Kingdom.
John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
Christ Jesus has prepared “a place” (residence, a possession for our rest) for us….(think of it!). That we might be with Him forever.
Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”