“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13
Death has often been personified as “The Grim Reaper”, who comes to call on every single person, irrespective of status, wealth or even age. With the world population nearing eight billion, approximately 166,000 people die each day! What a broken world we live in! And death has taken the loved ones of many in our congregation in the past weeks and months. When we encounter death, we grieve the absence of our loved ones. And it is fitting that we do so. Scripture tells us that Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus.
And there is much about death and the entrance to heaven that we do not know. While Scripture gives us hints about a glorious place, absent of sin and tears and pain, no one can describe exactly what the experience of death and the entrance into heaven will be like. Yet we have hope, because this we know – our Saviour will be there!
A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.” Very quietly, the doctor said, “I don’t know.” “You don’t know? You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?” The doctor was holding the handle of the door; on the other side of which came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door,
a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing…I know my Master is there and that is enough.”
May the God of all comfort extend His comfort to those who have recently lost loved ones in the Lord! And may each of us, in the moment of facing our own death, have confidence in seeing our glorious and gracious Master on the other side!