“We Sorrow Not As Others”

Posted: April 16, 2016 in Billy Pietsch, Christian Life, Christianity, Compassion, Death, Gospel, Heaven, Hell, Resurrection, Salvation

Since the death of our son, Billy, I have been asked many questions about what happens to people when they die?  The Scriptures tell us, “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).  This can be said only of true Christians who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.  Sadly, not everyone goes to heaven when they die (Matthew 7:21-23; 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8).

Emotions. At the time of death some people are very emotional while others are more sedate and rarely express any emotions. God is a spirit being (John 4:24).  He Himself has a mind, will, and emotions and gave these same things to Adam and Eve who passed them on to us.  Our bodies on this earth house these things (1 Thessalonians 5:23).  The spirit belongs to our minds (Ephesians 4:23).  It is the only part of a Christian that is saved now (1 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 8:16).  The soul relates to our emotions which aren’t saved yet (John 14:1; 1 Peter 1:9).  Our bodies of limitation (Philippians 1:21) with which we express ourselves are also part of our future tense salvation (Romans 12:1, 2; 8:23).

Funerals. Having conducted funeral services for many people, I can usually tell which family members and friends are believers in Christ and which aren’t.  Their responses to death are quite different.  The Scriptures tell Christians not to sorrow as other unbelievers who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13; Ephesians 2:12).  We can/should know what God has said about the life after death and His plan for the future.  Don’t ignore Bible prophecy as some preachers are suggesting people to do.  It involves you and me.

Comfort. In one of his letters to the believers living in Thessalonica, almost 2,000 years ago, the Apostle Paul shared some valuable information from God that can comfort and help believers like us who live today in the 21st century.  I invite you to read what he wrote under the direction of God the Holy Spirit in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.  God willing, I plan to share more information with you from this passage in future articles.

Ignorance. Far too many Christians are not well informed from the Scriptures concerning a subject that will affect all of us until the Lord Himself returns at the time of the Rapture. As a general rule “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). There are no second opportunities to be saved after you die as some cults teach.  There is no reincarnation into another form of life taught in the Scriptures.  Death entered the world when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17; 5:5, 8, 11, 14; Romans 5:12).  This fact disproves the theory of evolution.

Sleep. The believer’s death is likened to sleep (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14; John 11:11).  This has to do with the body only, not “soul sleep” as some cults teach.  All dead people are fully conscious and aware of where they are in their temporary bodies (2 Corinthians 5:1-10).  The unbelieving dead are suffering while believers are enjoying pleasures in God’s presence (Luke 16:19-31; Psalm 16:11).  Jesus is the One who determines the time and manner of a believer’s death (John 21:18, 19; 1 Corinthians 11:30; Acts 5:1-11; 1 John 5:16; Revelation 2:10; 6:11).  He holds the “keys of death” today (Revelation 1:18).  This is why we shouldn’t fear death.  No one can take our lives until Jesus either causes it or allows it to happen.  The devil held the keys in the Old Testament times and could kill people unless God told him not to do so (Job 1:18; 2:6; Hebrews 2:14).  Death is separation, not annihilation as some cults teach.  Physical death involves the separation of the soul and spirit from the body.  We either go into the presence of the Lord or into Hades at the time of death (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21-23; Luke 16:19-31).  Do you know when Christians will enter the place that Jesus said He would prepare for us (John 14:1-3)?  What is your current destination?  God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth to make a way of escape for mankind from the lake of fire (John 3:16, 18, 36).  Have you placed your faith in Him exclusively to save you?  If not, why not trust Him right now?

Sorrow. It is quite natural for us to weep when a loved one is taken from us in death. Death is an awful enemy.  Do you know how and when Jesus will overcome death (1 Corinthians 15:26)?  Jesus Himself wept at the time of Lazarus’ death (John 11:35).  However His sorrow stemmed from the lack of faith that the people had in His ability to raise His friend Lazarus back to life by resuscitating him.  Lazarus subsequently died again.  Thus far Jesus is the only One who died and rose again bodily never to die again.  Christ’s bodily resurrection guarantees the bodily resurrection of everyone who has ever lived (1 Corinthians 15:22).  Life begins at conception according to the Scriptures (Psalm 139:1-16; 51:5).  Do you know in which of the four remaining resurrections you will be raised?  If not, ask us for more information.

Hope. To an unbeliever hope is nothing more than wishful thinking.  When asked if they know for sure that they will go to heaven the moment they die, many people have told me that they sure hope they will but they aren’t absolutely sure they will go there.  But to Christians our hope is the confident expectation that we have which is based on a promise from God (John 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24; 1 John 5:13).  If God says that He will do something, He has the power to do it (Ephesians 3:20).  He’s omnipotent (Revelation 1:18).

Gospel. This Good News that is the power of God unto our salvation (Romans 1:16) consists of the facts that Christ died for all our sins once and for all (Hebrews 10:10).  He was buried to prove to us that He had paid our debt to God (Romans 6:23).  He rose again bodily (Luke 24:33-43; See Psalm 16:10) which was verified by His being seen by over 500 witnesses on over 10 separate occasions (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).  It has flesh and bones but no blood (1 Corinthians 15:50).  It isn’t limited by time and space like our present bodies are.  At the time of the Rapture true Christians will receive glorified bodies like Christ’s (1 John 3:3).  Do you know when Old Testament believers will be raised from the dead and what kind of glorified bodies they will receive (Daniel 12)?

Confident. My friend, are you confident that you will go to heaven the moment you die?  Upon what is your belief based?  Even though I grew up in a Christian home, I didn’t have assurance of my salvation until I was in my second year of college (See Romans 8:16, 17).  The verse in Scripture that helped me says this, “These things I [the Apostle John] have written to you who believe in the name [i.e. the person and work] of the Son of God, that you may know [not wish, hope, or think] that you have eternal life…” (1 John 5:13).  My getting into heaven is not based on what I have done or will do in the future (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5) but on what Christ has done for me – Period!  He saved me from the moment I believed in/on Him from the penalty of sin (Ephesians2:8; Romans 6:23; 8:1).  He is saving me from the power of sin (Romans 6:14), and will save me from the presence of sin (Romans 8:18-23).  The best is yet to come for true believers.  Are you one of them?

Help. We’re here to assist you if you are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2).  If you have a spiritual need and express it to us, we’ll do our best to help you from God’s Word.  It is God breathed, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that [we as Christians] may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).  It is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).  Are you engaged in the good works that God planned for you to be doing while you’re here on earth (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)?  Do you use your spiritual gift with love (1 Corinthians 13)?

Remember.  Treat each day as though it might be your last day on earth (James 4:14).  Or it might be the last day of someone you know and love or meet along life’s path.  “Some men die by shrapnel, and some go down in flames, but most men perish inch by inch playing their silly little games.” – Source unknown

Purpose.  What is your purpose in life?  It is to glorify God by making Him known to others around you (1 Corinthians 10:31)?

 Follow. If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” I’d like to try to answer as many questions from Scripture as I can.  If this article has helped you, would you share it with someone else so we can bless them too?

 

 

 

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