My Thoughts . . .
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Several years ago, I was in the recovery room at the hospital. A nurse was checking to see if I was awake by calling my name. I was in and out of sleep, but the nurse was persistent. Finally, she asked, “Aren’t you a preacher?” I told her I was. She asked, “When you die, what happens to you?” My reply was, “I don’t know. I haven’t died yet.” I promptly went back to sleep. Being a nurse, she should have known that her timing was off by asking such a complicated question. It was a good question though.
In most funerals a speaker will attempt to say something positive about the departed to comfort the family. Yet, nothing said will matter to the deceased. Solomon stated,
“The dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, . . . Nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6).
There isn’t a lot of information in the Old Testament about the state of the dead. Jesus pointed out that someone else would enjoy the fruits of the rich farmer’s work (Luke 12:20). When David’s baby died, he stated, “I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23). Usually, when death happened, the dead were said to go down to Scheol, or the grave. A few exceptions are Daniel 12:2 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Solomon writes, “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). We’re also informed that neither Enoch nor Elijah saw death but were taken up by God.
In the New Testament Jesus spoke of Lazarus being with Abraham, whereas the rich man was separated from them (Luke 16:19-31). The Hebrew writer speaks of death and a judgment afterwards (Hebrews 9:27). Jesus reminded his audience that God was the God of the living, not the dead (Matthew 22:32). Paul spoke of dying and being with Christ as “far better” (Philippians 1:23). John writes of judgment and seeing the dead being judged (Revelation 20:12). Also read 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18′ 1 Corinthians 15, and 2 Corinthians 5:1-8).
Bart Millard, lead singer of the group “Mercy Me,” wrote a song in 2001 titled, “I Can Only Imagine.” He attempted to show what he thought it would be like in heaven. It struck a chord with the public and became the bestselling Christian single of all times as late as 2018. It sold over two hundred million copies. John tells us we will see Jesus “as he is” (1 John 3:2). We are not told the details of that sighting. It is impossible to describe infinite sights with finite words. The reason being that we are limited to a finite understand.
If you want that sight to become infinite reality, develop a following trust in Jesus!
“Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9).