Death is one of the few events that everyone will experience one day. Yet, it is often perceived as something to avert or be fearful of. I think the mysterious nature of death leads to fear. So I want to share two things that happens when a believer in Christ dies.
According to 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 says, “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
Death brings the presence of God.
God is faithful to be there when we are absent from the body. After the departure of the spirit, we are ushered immediately into the presence of God. Christians can be found in one of two places: either in heaven or on earth. None of them is in the grave, in hell, or any ‘intermediate place’ between earth and heaven. Though our body remains on earth, our spirit (the real us) is with Jesus. What a comfort it is to realize that when we experience death we will not do so alone.
Death brings a new body.
This ushering in of our spirit to be in the presence of God will be followed with a new glorified body. We will be changed. We are not going to spend eternity as floating spirits. God is going to change us. Just as Jesus received a resurrected body so shall we. We will receive our eternal glorified body at the resurrection, but when our spirits enter Heaven at death, we receive a glorified body that will allow us to enjoy the pleasures of that glorious place.
A country farmer and his boy ventured to the big city for the first time. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and back together again. The boy asked his father, “What is this father?” The father (never having seen an elevator) responded, “Son, I have never seen anything like this in my life, I don’t know what it is.” While the boy and his father were watching wide-eyed, an old lady limping slightly with a cane slowly walks up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the lady walks between them and into a small room. The walls closed and the boy and his father watched, small circles of light with numbers above the wall light up. They continued to watch the circles light up in the reverse direction. The walls opened up again and a beautiful 24-year-old woman stepped out. The father said to his son, “Boy, Go get your Mama.”
So what’s it like to die? I think one of the best descriptions of death in scripture is that of ‘falling asleep.‘ A little girl asked her father what it was like to die and he said, “Remember what it is like when you fall asleep in the car and while you’re still asleep Daddy will pick you up and carry you to your bed…then in the morning when you wake up, you’re in your room. When you die it’s like that, you fall asleep and God carries you and then you wake up in your home in Heaven.” Death is like falling asleep, God will carry us to our new home, and we will be with Him. And when the time comes, we will be resurrected with a new glorified body and for God to resurrect us will be as easy as arousing someone from sleep.
Believers do not need to fear death. Jesus has conquered death for us.