Today as we look back at Jesus’ crucifixion, Christians can proclaim a reversal of the curse “in dying, you shall die”. Instead we have a ringing promise that “in dying, we shall live”.
Although like Adam we are subject to spiritual and physical death on Earth, we can, thanks to Jesus, embrace immortal spiritual life right now, as well as look forward with eager anticipation to living with God in the future.
Jesus confirmed this in his words recorded in John 11:25-26
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”
Putting in the likely Times and Venues for these events helps to clarify these verses:
I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me (now, on Earth) will live even though they die (on Earth), and whoever lives (on Earth) by believing in me will never die (spiritually—living first in Paradise, then after Judgement Day will also be re-embodied and live in the New Jerusalem).
Believing in Jesus while on Earth ensures for us an extremely
fulfilling eternal future—both physically and spiritually.
Thousands of Christians and others who have died physically and gone to the Paradise section of Hades during a near death experience, assure us when they return that “in dying” we definitely live on!
NDErs who have enjoyed Paradise attest to the fact that there is no fear in death for Christians. A number remain uncomfortable regarding the possible circumstances involved in dying, but they nevertheless on talking to them appear to be very comfortable about death itself.
Although the Paradise section in the afterlife is only a place of waiting in spirit bodies before Judgement, the many thousands who have described it in their own words are enchanted.
Many NDErs have not had the privilege of going to the love and beauty of Paradise, but have been consigned to some section of the Prisons of Hades instead. Even so, those returnees who have applied appropriate corrections to their lives back in our world claim to have likewise learnt not to fear death.
Judgement, following Jesus’ return to our world and our own bodily resurrection, will result in either our acceptance into Heaven, or sadly an existence separated eternally from God. Notice that death, as annihilation, may not be an option. Judgement and its verdict for each individual, is entirely in the hands of God. Jesus warned, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged”, (Matthew 7:1). The Apostle Paul confirmed this principle when he wrote (Romans 2:1):
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
Only God has the full picture about your life or mine, in far greater detail than we realise or remember ourselves, such that only God can judge us fairly. He even knows our “secret” thoughts.
As for me, I am eternally grateful that Jesus has already acted as my substitute for the death penalty that I deserve. I have accepted his gift of life instead.
Regardless of how much humanity might like to ignore or cheat death, it has been our companion and future since the Garden of Eden.
What is our God like, with whom we have been given the option to share eternity?
In 2010 my wife and I visited the Channel Isle of Guernsey, which had been occupied by German forces during World War 2. As the impending German invasion drew near, many children were sent off for safety to families they did not know in England, who had offered protection for the children.
Imagine you were one of those kids clutching your teddy bear and waiting amongst hundreds of other families on the docks, not knowing what lay ahead. How would you feel? What would be some of the things you would like to know about where you were headed and to whom?
Let’s not be similar to those kids in trepidation on the docks. Let’s learn in advance where we are going and to whom.
Learning more about our creative God and his nature, where he lives and what he is planning for when we join him, should be a priority for each of us.
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