The death of a loved one brings grief and sorrow. And at the time of the pain, emotional feelings of hopeless loss often pour over us as a giant wave. At no other time in the human experience can pain seem so ruthless. These feelings of despair can be mentally and emotionally crippling. But if I may, I would like to take this time to remind you of something.
I don’t want to come off sounding “philosophical”, or “abstract”. I want to tell you a foundational, rock-solid truth, which is often ignored…if even known at all. It is the “Good News”…which is called “The Gospel of Christ”. But before you look away, or turn the page, hear this…the Gospel of Jesus Christ is NOT ONLY the revelation that the Son of God (Jesus) came to this earth…lived a pure and Holy life…willingly died for the forgiveness of YOUR sins…rose again three days later…and ascended into Heaven, to be seated at the right hand of God, in Glory…victorious over death! No! That is NOT the END of the story. Because this is where YOU come in. This is where YOUR DEPARTED LOVED ONES come in! YOU have been crucified WITH Christ, and have RISEN again WITH Him! This is the message of hope in the Gospel of Christ, and you need to know this.
What I am about to say will sound strange to you…even to many Christian believers. Because it just might “stretch your mind” a bit, and allow you to realize WHO you are…WHAT you are…and even WHERE you are.
WHO YOU ARE is the SOUL within you…and NOT a physical BODY. Your “body” is simply an outer covering of what is within you. Your true life, your personality, your thoughts, desires, intents, and even your deeds that come from WITHIN you…this is your soul. And your soul is WHO you ARE. YOU are not what you are HOUSED in. Our “bodies” are just clothing to us…like a tent we live in. The Apostle Paul said, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in Heaven, not built by human hands.” (2Cor 5:1). He went on to say, “For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our Heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” (2Cor 5:4). Listen to this: If we are alive on this earth today…then we are STILL WAITING to really “LIVE”!
WHAT YOU ARE…if you are a follower of Jesus Christ…is a CHILD of the Living God. Some will say I am being “exclusive”, and not “open-minded” with this comment. Oh, how politically incorrect! After all, why would I add the words, “If you are a follower of Jesus Christ”, as a necessity to being a “Child of God”? Well, these are not MY words…they are the words of God, Himself…Jesus Christ. The Word of God (Jesus), which also happens to be recorded in the Holy Bible…has been proven to be 100% TRUE and ACCURATE concerning all events in past history. The Bible has NEVER been WRONG, or even slightly inaccurate. And regarding Jesus Christ…Who was a REAL man in history…and the miracles He performed, including His resurrection from the dead and His ascension to Heaven, are clearly recorded as TRUE and ACCURATE by all history. This was witnessed by countless numbers of people…INCLUDING those who rejected Him! To deny Jesus Christ as truth is simply human foolishness! It is the ultimate case of one sticking his/her head in the sand, hoping something is not true, because we are then held accountable for our actions.
WHERE YOU ARE is WITH the Lord God…even as you read this. Okay, this is where you might begin to think I’ve fallen off the deep end. But know this: As you sit reading these words…YOU ARE ALSO SITTING WITH JESUS CHRIST IN HEAVEN! Yes…at the SAME TIME! This is where the human mind has difficulty…this is the “abstract” part of truth. It’s hard to wrap our heads around it…but that never means something isn’t true. You don’t understand all about astrophysics either, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
God is “Omnipresent”, which means, EVERYWHERE at the same time. And since believers in Christ are IN CHRIST, and Christ is IN US…and Christ is IN GOD…and ONE WITH God…then WE are IN God…and He is IN US meaning, WHERE HE IS, WE ARE! Where HE goes, WE go. This is why the Apostle Paul stated, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the Heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…” (Eph 2:6). Notice the PAST TENSE of these words, “God RAISED us up and SEATED us WITH Him”. This has ALREADY TAKEN PLACE…this is NOT a FUTURE act…IT IS DONE! You ARE NOW sitting with Jesus Christ in Heaven. HOW can YOU do this? WITHOUT God, you cannot…BUT GOD CAN…because WITH Him, ALL THINGS are possible! (Matt 19:26). So, don’t worry about HOW YOU can. We are ONE WITH Jesus Christ…so we are ONE WITH God.
My point to this entire message is this…when you see a believing loved one lying in a funeral home, I want you to know that this loved one is MORE ALIVE at this time than they have EVER been! To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2Cor 5:8). What we call “physical death” is simply your Soul…your Spirit…THE REAL YOU…”separating from” your physical, temporary house here on earth. It is definitely NOT the END of life…BUT THE BEGINNING OF TRUE LIFE! Your loved one is now experiencing life TO THE FULL…which is why Jesus said He came to this earth…”so that we would have life and have it MORE abundantly”…both, on this earth AND in Heaven! (John 10:10).
If you have a believing loved one who has passed on…do not allow your Spirit to be broken with grief. But instead, REJOICE! Your loved one is currently experiencing a JOYFUL LIFE like you have NEVER known, as of yet! One day, you WILL be with them again, and your joy will be such that NO ONE can take it away from you! This is the Good News! This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ!