Out of all the questions that I received from people in the congregation, this one, and variations on it, was the most asked question. People wonder about what happens after death. Because we believe in the return of Christ, and a resurrection from the dead, that adds other layers to the question.
Here are a few examples of things people asked:
- When a believer dies, do souls go directly to heaven or lay asleep to be raised when Jesus returns?
- How much longer will God be patient with this world that is denying Him and is becoming more and more violent?
- Why doesn’t he just come back now? Why wait?
- When one passes on from this earth, do they go immediately to heaven or do they “sleep” until you are risen at the second coming of Christ?
- How do you know when Jesus comes back? What will it look like when Jesus comes back?
- Why do some people struggle more than others with death?
- What will we do in Heaven? Will we just follow God around?
Death is real. Grief is real. It is part of our sinful, human experience – even those of us who confess Jesus Christ as risen from the dead! And yet, we still grieve.
I will share with you on Sunday, that it is okay to grieve. Frankly, it’s probably good to grieve.
Mary wept at the death of her brother Lazarus.
Jairus wept at the death of his daughter.
David wept at the death of his best friend Jonathon and Jonathon’s father Saul.
Jesus, himself, wept at the death of his friend Lazarus.
And Mary, the mother of Jesus, likely wept as she stood at a distance and watched her son hang his head and breathe his last.
And yet, every one of these people believed in God and that he was powerful over death. Yet, they still grieved.
When we grieve, we acknowledge the Scriptural reality that death is not fun. We don’t like death. We don’t believe that it is what God created us to experience. That’s why we grieve.
YET – at the same time, we confess – BOLDLY – that Jesus Christ is powerful over the grave. He rose from the dead. And he has promised that he WILL return to raise all the dead and give us eternal life in the new heavens and the new earth.
I pray that this message will be a blessing to you to give you a confident HOPE, and a full life in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Come quickly Lord Jesus.
Alive in Christ!