In my last post, I mentioned a funeral Sharon and I attended a while ago. I’m not going to rehash that post, but the truth is, people don’t like funerals. They’re sad affairs. (If you’ve recently endured such an event, I’m sorry. I don’t mean or want to add to your sorrow.)
I think one reason we don’t like them is that, at the back of our minds, they remind us of our own mortality. Young people don’t think about this so much, but us older folks are aware of the fact that the sun is setting on our day.
It’s been said that the only sure things are death and taxes. Truly, in our culture, taxes are indeed an ever-present, ever-increasing reality. Our property-taxes went up 223% this year. But lots of people have never paid taxes. Those same people died, or will die. Death is the only certain “fact of life”. You might say that this planet is just one enormous grave-yard.
Scripture has a lot to say about death. We’re just going to look at a couple of verses.
Hebrews 2:14 says, Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself [the Lord Jesus] shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. (NKJV)
This verse tells us that there is coming a time in which there will be no death. Revelation 21:4 says the same thing: And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Men fondly imagine that they can create such a world, a utopia, a perfect world, a world in which they will defeat hunger, disease and death. This will never happen in this life.
It will happen.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church –
We shall not all sleep [that is, die], but we shall all be changed…for this corruptible [body] must put on incorruption, and this mortal [body] must put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass that saying, “Death is swallowed up in victory”…thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 15:51, 53-55, 57.
But please note: this blessing, this future, is only “through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Apart from Him, there is no such blessing, no such future. The future which faces those who die without Him is not one of blessing, but of condemnation. Revelation 20:15 calls it a lake of fire. We pretty much don’t believe in such things anymore; everyone’s going to “a better place.”
But our Lord said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” John 14:6.