Some Encouragement for You from God’s Word at the Time of Your Impending Death
Death is the enemy of the living. There is a sting to death because it facilitates a separation between those who have departed to their eternal home, and those who await their own demise. The sting of death also includes the ensuing judgment of God. It is appointed for each person to die and then comes God’s judgment of that person (Heb 9:27).
Unrepentant sinners have the terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume God’s adversaries (Heb 10:27). Without repentance, and the justification of the ungodly (Rom 4:5; 1 Pet 3:18), by faith in Jesus Christ and His substitutionary death on the cross (Rom 5:8; Eph 5:25; 1 Pet 2:24), there is no escape from each reprobate sinner’s appearance at God’s great white throne of judgment (Rev 20:11). The sentence for the unsaved is eternal punishment in the fiery hell of the second death in the lake of fire (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15).
There is no hope for those who are without God in the world (Eph 2:12), nor is there any mercy for them at death (Heb 10:28), when they meet the Lord Jesus Christ, who will issue their sentence (Mt 7:21–23), having been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Mt 28:18), to judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5). Therefore, before the judgment hour comes (Rev 18:10), it behooves each person to repent to God at the preaching of the eternal gospel (Rev 14:6), which says, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made heaven and the earth, and sea, and springs of water (Rev 14:7).”
How different is the prospect of death, judgment, and eternity for those who have repented of their sins and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), so as to be saved from the wrath of God to come (Titus 3:5; 1 Thess 1:10). For believers positioned “in Christ,” there is therefore now no condemnation because of Christ’s propitiation for their sins (Rom 3:25; 8:1; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10).
With God’s wrath appeased by the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet 1:19), the Christian is free to live the victorious life, by faith granted to him (Phil 1:29), by the grace of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; Gal 4:6; Eph 2:8–9; 2 Tim 1:14). The victorious life of faith is a life in union with Christ. Christ lives in the saint by His Spirit (Gal 2:20; Col 1:27), who has positioned the Christian in Christ’s kingdom in the world (Col 1:13).
The kingdom of God’s beloved Son is His Spirit-filled church (Rom 14:17), where righteousness, peace, and joy manifest in community (1 Cor 12:13). As the embassy of God in the world, the ambassadors for Christ labor together, serving God in hope of eternal life (Acts 26:7). It is the resurrected Christ who is our hope of glory (Col 1:27; 1 Pet 1:3). Because He lives again after death and burial, He is the first fruits of the resurrection to life (1 Cor 15:20), coming to all the saints on the last day (Jn 5:28–29; 1 Thess 4:13–5:11).
The hope of resurrection life comes with a token and pledge, that is, the Holy Spirit, given to God’s chosen, redeemed people as a gift of His love (Acts 2:38; 10:45; Rom 5:5; 2 Cor 5:5). By oath and covenant, God has promised eternal life to His beloved (1 Jn 5:12). He has given us His Word that it is very much better to depart this body of death and to be with the Lord (Phil 1:23). We wait for our Savior to summon us home to Zion, the New Jerusalem, situated in the better, the heavenly country (Heb 11:16; Rev 21:2, 10).
Death of the physical body is looming for all people living, today (Rom 6:23; 2 Cor 4:16). Death is a mere door to be traversed by those whose souls have already been brought to life through regeneration by the Holy Spirit. Being made alive in Christ means the believer has the experience of resurrection in her soul. Born again, that is, born of God the Spirit is life from dead (Jn 3:1–8; Eph 2:5; Col 2:13; 1 Pet 1:3). It serves as a preview to the bodily resurrection coming at Christ’s second advent (Zech 12:10; Mt 24–25; Mk 13; Lk 21; 1 Cor 15; 1 Thess 4:13–5:11; Rev 19:11–21).
My dear reader, your home-going to be with the Lord is pending. The timing of your exit from this world is in perfect alignment with God’s will. He knows every one of your days, even before there was yet one of them (Ps 139:16). The days of your vaporous life were numbered by God in eternity (Jas 4:14). Nothing in your life that comes to pass is outside of what God has ordained for you. Comfort for God’s people abounds at the revelation and understanding of these biblical truths.
The expiration of the body of sin and death is liberation for the soul. The weight of sinful flesh is released as the spirit ascends to Christ, seated in the heavenlies (Eph 2:6). To die is gain (Phil 1:21). Heaven awaits the child of God, adopted by the Father…and now home at last. To enter the presence of God is to enter the glory, promised…and now realized.
Are you ready for this, beloved of God? There is no comparison to be made. Although God has graciously given His people pictures of heaven in the text (Rev 21–22), even these wonderful Word depictions cannot capture the splendor of His majesty (Rom 8:18). Righteousness dwells there (2 Pet 3:13)…who can comprehend? Immortality without immorality…O glorious day!
He who gave Himself for us is He who has gone to prepare a place for us (Jn 14:2–3). Mansions of glory are only glorious because they occupy the city of God where our God reigns (1 Cor 15:25; Rev 11:15). He is our reward reserved for us in heaven where He is seated as King of glory (Ps 24; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1, 24).
My dear reader, hope in Christ does not disappoint from this day forth and forevermore (Rom 5:5). You have trusted Him in the days of your life in this world of darkness (Jn 8:12; 12:46; Eph 6:12; Col 1:13). Will He not deliver above and beyond all you could think or imagine heaven could be?
You will soon be a witness to glory, even as you have been a witness to the world! Rejoice! Glory is nearer than when you first believed, and glory knows the very moment of your arrival. Enter the joy of the Lord! You are welcome here. Welcome home!
Spokane Valley, Washington
May 8, 2022