Is Or Was?

By , February 14, 2018

“Father I wish that those you have given me
may be with me where I am…”
John 17:24
“…My desire is to depart and be with Christ,
for that is far better.”
Phil. 1:23

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When the great evangelist D. L. Moody lay dying his son Will was with him. Moody made several revealing comments. Waking from sleep he said, “Earth recedes, heaven opens before me.  If this is death it is sweet. This is my coronation day.”

I recall in Greek class as a seminary student translating the book of Philippians. When we came to verse 23 in chapter 1 our tender hearted professor stopped and told us with tears in his eyes, “All death can do to us as believers is give us more of Jesus Christ that we ever had in this life.”

When my father died various people told me why they thought my Dad had been a good man.  Your Dad was so honest.” one said. Another mentioned how kind he was. I thanked them for mentioning good things about my father. But I wanted to shout out, He IS more kind than ever. He IS better than ever.”

You see when we speak of those who have left us using the past tense it suggests they no longer exist. This is not a Christian notion at all. Believers who die are more alive than they ever were in this life. The memorable qualities they had in this life that caused us to love them are amplified in heaven. All sin and weakness they carried has been removed and the beauties of Jesus person shine in them. They are perfection personified.

As you weep over the suffering your loved one went through as they walked through the valley of the shadow of death, rest assured they are long beyond the suffering and they have pure joy and happiness as they gaze upon the One Who loved them and gave Himself for them. They walk the streets of gold in perfect contentment. Not a trace of the pains of this world remain in them. God has long ago wiped all tears from their eyes. They are laughing, singing and speaking with the saints of the ages.

Our tears when a loved one departs for heaven should be for ourselves, not for them. They are perfectly content, happy, and delighted with what they see and hear in glory. Will you cease weeping for your loved one and instead be thankful for our great salvation that has taken the sting out of death? Will you muse on how gloriously perfect your family member is now that they have entered into their eternal bliss with the Lord and His people of all ages?

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