Your daily goal:
Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
(Monday-Friday, from my morning quiet time, I will write a short thought for that day which I pray God will use to motivate you to ‘GO’ for that day. Your objective is simple…to GO…to GO OUT and share the love of Christ with someone in that day….to GO and bear fruit …to be light to the world.)
Today’s Daily Light
What Happens to Us When we Die? (Some text from an article by John Piper)
About 1000 years before the birth of Christ…King Solomon…who the bible says God gave the gift of ‘profound’ insight and wisdom…Solomon wrote in the Old Testament book we call Ecclesiastes..chapter 12, verse 7… “and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”
And let’s look at the two key passages from the Apostle Paul are Philippians 1:21–23, “To me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose, I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” So when Paul contemplates his own dying, he calls it “gain,” not because he is going to go unconscious and have zero experience for another thousand years, but because he goes into the presence of Christ with Christ in deeper, more intimate way — and it is, he says, vastly better than anything he has known here.
And then he says the same thing in 2 Corinthians 5:6–9, “We are always of good courage (confident). We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” So, dying in the body means going to be at home with the Lord.
And here’s Jesus. He tells this story about the rich man and Lazarus, and he doesn’t say that it is a parable. Now we don’t know for sure, frankly, whether it was a parable or not, but it doesn’t say it was a parable. He just describes it like it really happened. And if it did happen or if it is a parable, it seems to be making the point that after death there is not oblivion or sleep, unconsciousness. There is life in torment or in bliss.
It goes like this: “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side” (Luke 16:19–23). So the picture Jesus paints — the parable or something that really happened — is one of a conscious life in torment or in happiness beyond death.
So, our conclusion is that Christians have a double encouragement for those who are dying or have died. For the believer who trusts in Jesus Christ, Christ’s blood and righteousness have removed the condemnation for every believer and secured for us both final resurrection of the body in a new heaven and a new earth, and now, after death, an intimate, sweet experience of being in Christ’s presence between death and resurrection. It is a blessed hope in both ways. We are safe. We are safe in him now, we will be safe in his presence at the moment of death, and we will be supremely happy in a new and healthy body forever and ever in the new heavens and the new earth.
Precious Lord…keeper of our soul and spirit….your plan for the # of our days is perfect. I know that ‘if’ we truly ‘know’ you…that we have confidence and comfort that when we leave this earthly body…that you bring our spirit (the sum and whole our conscious self)…you bring us to be with You in Your presence. I praise and thank you for your prefect plan for our ‘eternal’ life which is the greatest gift that all of us can ever receive. Thank you for being our Savior and for giving us eternal life so that we can know you ‘now’…and have confidence…that when we die…that we enter into Your presence. I can think of nothing more important…more precious or of value…than to know we are ‘in’ You. Amen
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