Death is like a great ocean, and we are on this shore seeing people depart. But every ocean has two shores, and every person we see depart is seen as arriving on that other shore. Death is not the end. Just as birth was our ticket to this world, so death is our ticket to the next. It is less of an end than a beginning.
If I told you today I would move you from the slums to a beautiful country estate, you would not focus on the life you were ending but the life you were beginning. Death, though a curse in itself, was also the only way out from under the Curse—and only because God had prepared a way to defeat death and restore mankind’s relationship with Him.
Hope you enjoy these reflections on what it will mean to leave this world of pain and suffering, and enter into Christ’s presence (drawn from my book Eternal Perspectives, now out of print but still available on Kindle):
“[Christ] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” — PAUL, 1 CORINTHIANS 15:25-26
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” —PAUL, 1 CORINTHIANS 15:55
“By [Christ’s] death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” —HEBREWS 2:14-15
“There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” —JESUS, REVELATION 21:4
“May I view things in the mirror of eternity,
waiting for the coming of my Lord,
listening for the last trumpet call,
hastening unto the new heaven and earth. . . .
May I speak each word as if my last word,
and walk each step as my final one.
If my life should end today, let this be my best day.”
—The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
“My knowledge of that life is small, The eye of faith is dim, But it’s enough that Christ knows all, And I shall be with him.” —Richard Baxter
“H. S. Laird’s father, a Christ-loving man, lay dying. His son sat at his bedside and asked, ‘Dad, how do you feel?’ His father replied: ‘Son, I feel like a little boy on Christmas Eve.’” —Jack MacArthur, adapted from Exploring in the Next World
“Soon you will read in the newspaper that I am dead. Don’t believe it for a moment. I will be more alive than ever before. . . . Earth recedes. . . . Heaven opens before me!” —D. L. Moody, on his deathbed
“I once scorned ev’ry fearful thought of death,
When it was but the end of pulse and breath,
But now my eyes have seen that past the pain
There is a world that’s waiting to be claimed.
Earthmaker, Holy, let me now depart,
For living’s such a temporary art.
And dying is but getting dressed for God,
Our graves are merely doorways cut in sod.”
—Calvin Miller, The Divine Symphony