One of the tragedies and trials we are facing as a nation because of the COVID19 pandemic is the death of loved ones, family, and friends. If a person believes in God and His promises recorded in God’s Word which is the Holy Bible, he can have an optimistic HOPE about death. HOPE is having confidence about the FUTURE. May I share with you why I believe we can have hope about death?
I must say that I really don’t know how people can have peaceful hope if they don’t believe in or trust God. God can’t lie and therefore whatever He promises or reveals about death is true and absolutely reliable. As the prophet Jeremiah said many centuries ago: “GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS” (Lamentations 3:23-26). Psalm 23 says that because the Lord our Shepherd is with us, we can face the possibility of death without any FEAR because He protects us. If a saint of God should die, it is because of God’s DIVINE APPOINTMENT. God determines when everyone will die: “It is appointed unto men once to die” (Hebrew 9:27). The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus Christ is the Lord Almighty, the Alpha and Omega, and is the One who possessed the “Keys of hell and death” (Revelation 1:5-18). When a saint does experience death, Psalm 116:15 says “precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” This is when we need to trust in God’s wisdom and love because death is determined by God’s will. God is more concerned about the death of those He loves than we are. Let’s remember that God is too WISE to make mistakes and too LOVING to do anything that is unkind.
One of the most important and encouraging truths about death for a believer who trusts and believes in God is where a person goes when death occurs. A believer goes to heaven to be with God and other believers. This truth was clearly taught by the apostle Paul: 1) When a believer dies, he leaves his body and goes to heaven to be with the Lord; 2) Death is a GAIN for a believer because at death he departs this life and goes to be with Christ in heaven. These two truths are clearly revealed by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 and Philippians 1:21-23. I have personally preached these two scriptures at many funerals. We do sorrow at times of death but with HOPE (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Someday we will be united with our loved ones as believers in Christ. Christ personally promised to go to heaven and prepare a wonderful place where all believers would live. I have preached many times over the years: “Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.” Jesus said that a person gets prepared by believing in Him as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6, 3:16-18, 5:24). These truths and promises are why we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have OPTIMISTIC HOPE and do not FEAR DEATH. I hope and pray that you share this hope with me.