Everyone sooner or later comes face to face with their own mortality. Whether this comes through the death of a close friend or relative or through a personal health crisis, sooner or later almost all of us will have to face the question, What happens when we die? Is this it? Is my life a random event in a random world in a vast expanse of time? Have I left a mark on this world? Does any of it matter? Does God exist? Will I see my loved ones after I die? These and many other questions inevitably start banging around in our head. Let’s take a few moments to consider what the Bible has to say about death. It may just surprise you since most people don’t even realize that many beliefs held dear by many are in fact not based on the bible but other, non-biblical sources.
Death isn’t meant to be the end of our existence…
The Bible doesn’t describe death as an end point but as a pause and in fact refers to death as a sleep or alludes to it a number of times. Consider Psalms 13:3, “Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death…” or the words of Jesus himself in John 11:11-14 referring to Lazarus, one of his friends who had recently died. “After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died…”
Death isn’t the end, it’s merely a pause in our existence. Have you ever fallen into a deep, restful sleep? What happens? It feels like you close your eyes and the next thing you know, you open them and it’s morning. You weren’t aware of anything from the moment you fell asleep to the moment you woke up. Another example would be going under during a surgery. When the anesthesiologist put you under whatever thought you had going under is still on your mind as you wake up. Hours seem like seconds. So when the Bible associates the word sleep with death, it is really good news. It means it is painless. It is time when you won’t be in agony trying to find your way to heaven or through this world. You fall asleep. There are also other verses that give us a clue that death is not a time where you are continuing your thoughts but now you do so in a another dimension, a spiritual one. Instead, we find death described as a time when all your thoughts and plans die. Look at Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.” When a person dies, their plans, hopes, dreams die with them. “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.” – Psalms 146:3-4.
Whose side are you on?
The real question all of us must answer is whether we are on God’s side through belief and trust in the person of Jesus Christ and what he has done for us personally or whether we reject this exclusive path and choose to follow our own. Many people today are offended with the idea that Jesus would be the only way to be saved. Each of us must make up our own minds. Either we believe in the New Testament and the whole Bible or we don’t. If we choose not to believe in the Bible or we choose to believe in only the parts we find acceptable however, we can still expect to one day be held accountable to God for our beliefs and our actions.
If we believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, he promises us eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23. “ “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16. Through Jesus Christ we have no reason to fear death. One day soon we will see him face to face. For everyone who dies believing in him, it will be as fast as a blink of an eye.
God is so good isn’t He? Are you looking forward to meeting him?