Psalm 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints”
2 Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord”
Do you like continued stories? Let’s say you’re reading a magazine article or even watching a television program for half an hour, and you come to the place where the hero plunges into the water to rescue his drowning sweetheart. Then you’re left hanging in the air with the words, “To be continued.” Oh, how disappointing!
However, there is quite a different response to the inscription on the headstone of a born-again believer in Jesus Christ. The inscription would read “To Be Continued Above”! Yes, this life is just the first chapter of the book of a person’s life. Whether that chapter is long or short, it’s not the end, but it’s to be continued. For the believer in Christ, it will be continued in heaven with our Lord.
There is no break between the chapters and you don’t have to wait till next month’s installment or to tune in next week to hear the concluding episode. Chapter two follows chapter one without interruption. It is continued immediately, for “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). So, what will the next chapter be for you? It will be written sooner or later, either in heaven or in hell. Remember, when your time comes to die, that is not the end, like many people believe. Your story is “to be continued” – but the question then remains, where?
The story has been told about a woman whose mother went home to be with the Lord. She was very much loved and a blessing to everyone who met her. The mother’s seven-year old son expressed his great love and admiration for his grandmother and remarked with childish glee, “I’ll bet Jesus was glad to see Grandma!”
I whole heartily agree. I’m quite sure the Lord welcomes home all whom He has redeemed by His blood on the cross of Calvary. When we think about the death of a believer in Christ, our minds are usually taken up with the joy that a believer must experience when they first see the One who saved them. What a thrill to behold Christ for the first time! Yes, we’ll be happy to see Christ, but He who loved the church so much that He gave His life for her surely rejoices each time one of His redeemed one arrives home.
I’m confident that when we who have trusted Him as Lord and Savior pass through the gates of glory, our Redeemer will find great satisfaction in receiving us into His presence. So, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, whether you are facing death yourself or are grieving over the loss of a loved one, think of that boy’s words, “I’ll bet Jesus was glad to see Grandma.” I’m also sure He will be glad to see you too!”
Christ conquered death and broke its power,
By rising from the grave;
Eternal life He gives to all,
Who trust in Him to save – Sper
Death is the last chapter of time, but the first chapter of eternity.