Beyond the Body BeautifulThere is more to a Christian's death benefits than a fine body. Some people place so much emphasis upon the care and feeding of this temporary shelter that the overwhelming problems of a sick world get little or no attention. We do not have a paradise on earth; it is riddled with so much sin and disease.
The first great benefit of death for Christians is permanent freedom from evil. When Paul talked about his desire to "depart and to be with Christ" (Philippians 1:23), he was conveying the idea of leaving something permanently behind. Everything that is not useful is left - all of the pain, the care, and the anguish of the world. Crime, drugs, war, hatred, starvation, all of the horrors of man's inhumanity to man will be cancelled out of our heavenly existence.
When John was given the Revelation and had caught a glimpse of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, he said, "There shall be nothing in the city which is evil" (Revelation 22:3, LB).
Freedom! Men have searched for it and died for it, but they will never attain it unless they know Jesus Christ. The message of the old cowboy song, "Don't Fence Me In," will be an eternal reality.
The second benefit of death to believers is that we will be like Jesus. John writes, "Dear friends, now we are children of God and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (I John 3:2).
Our imaginations are so stilted. The very thought of being like Jesus is breathtaking. We will be like Him in righteousness. Our old sin nature will be forgotten, erased from our memories forever.
We shall be like Him in knowledge. We have the Holy Spirit to guide us in our understanding of the Word of God here on earth, but our "understanding" is always limited and mixed with error. We struggle to understand the Scriptures, but sometimes even great Bible scholars differ over the exact interpretation of certain passages. However, everything that puzzled us in life will be made clear. All our "whys" will be answered.
Do you have many unanswered questions today? Our IQs in heaven will far surpass those of the most brilliant people on earth.
We will also be like Jesus in love. Today we are so centered on self, but our death policy says that we will be heirs to the selfless, self-sacrificing love of Jesus Christ. We may find it difficult to love everyone on earth, but in heaven love will be freely given and freely received.
So the supreme benefit, the one which surpasses all others, is that we will be with Jesus Christ. We long to see Him face to face, to hear His voice and touch Him. In the day we go to be with Him, there will be no unfulfilled longings or disappointments. He will welcome us into His mansion, answer our questions, and teach us the wisdom of the ages.
Once we meet Him, what will happen? Will He be glad to see us?
We must ask ourselves, "Are you prepared to meet the Master at any moment?" We can answer, "Yes, I am, Christ is my Lord and Savior."
Stop right now and ask yourself that question.
Our Patient Merciful God
The Bible and the Gospel speak of God's great mercy for us ...
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“Enter his gates with
thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him
and praise his name.