The Only Death A Believer In Christ Will Ever Know
"Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word he shall never see death.” John 8:51 What an amazing statement Jesus made here. Sometimes words in the Scriptures are so foreign to the way we think that we just skip over them, not taking to heart what is being said. How can Jesus say that if one keeps his Word, he will never die? Do you think he meant exactly what he said? When one questions the validity of a Scripture passage, one way to learn more about it is to look to see if the same principle is repeated anywhere else in the Scriptures. This particular Word of Jesus Christ IS repeated: The setting is the death of Lazarus as Jesus comes upon the graveyard scene and meets the two sisters who question why he didn't come earlier, crying that he might have healed their brother so that he wouldn't have died. In the conversation that ensues, Jesus once again makes that remarkable statement: "And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:26 How can this be? We've all known many believers who have died. Was Jesus wrong about this? But Jesus's question resounds: "Do you believe this?" The noted Bible scholar Chuck Missler said that when you see an apparent contradiction in the Bible, you should follow it through and search it out because there's a gem waiting to be discovered. No, Jesus was not wrong when he said that those who believe in him shall never die. When a believer in Jesus Christ dies in this world, he immediately opens his eyes in heaven. So truly, truly, every believer in Jesus Christ simply changes location when they leave this world and enter the next. It’s not death, it’s simply a change in location. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (2nd Corinthians 5:8) The person who dies in this world doesn’t cease to exist. He enters into a new life of an abundance of joy. Death therefore, is actually a glorious thing. The believer will immediately be welcomed by loved ones who have gone on before; it will be a tremendously exciting experience filled with "joy unspeakable and full of glory." If every believer could thoroughly understand this, death would no longer be the terrible thing that those of us on this side think it to be. There was never a single moment in the departing saint's life that could have been equaled to the joyful arrival in heaven to a tremendous welcoming group of loved ones. And once the joy and hugs and embraces and excitement is finished ...the believer ...will be taken to meet ....Jesus. There is no joy in existence that can even come close to the joy of a believer being welcomed by the one he/she believed in for so long without seeing. I read a short passage one time that I've always remembered. It was the story of a ship leaving the docks and heading out into the horizon. On the waterfront the loved ones are watching and waving and sobbing as the ship slowly departs. But ...on the other side ...are the shouts of glory, "Here she comes!" And that is death, the only death the believer in Jesus Christ will ever know.