Death is all about perspective

We need to be thinking about heaven.

People are dying and families are grieving and government leaders are making life and death decisions. Do they know that this life is not all there is?

As we debate, decree, and protest the restrictions on our lives and economy meant to control this pandemic, we’re having to weigh lives against livelihoods. And though on one hand we want to affirm that one man’s livelihood shouldn’t cost another man his life, on the other hand we know that the risk of death is just inherent in the act of living. If protecting life trumped absolutely every other consideration, we’d have to prohibit automobile and air travel because fatal accidents happen every day on the roads and sometimes in the skies. Smoking and unhealthy foods would have to be banned. And we’d feel very conflicted about allowing any man or woman to serve as a first responder or in the military.

We simply can’t protect every human life and still live as free and productive humans. But what if we all believed, as I do, that we are more than our physical body and actually go on living when our body ceases to function? And what if we knew that the God who created us has control over life and death and is waiting to welcome into heaven for eternity all who believe and trust in him? We’d look at the risk of death a lot differently, that’s what.

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. – John 14:2-3

If this is the reality, and we have excellent reasons to believe that it is, we can look at death not as the final ending of life but as a doorway into a continuing but different existence. And though many of us would say we believe this is so, not many of us live like it. Of course we want to prolong our time on earth with our families, but do we fear death and fail to really believe that God has prepared a place for us?

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. – John 17:24

All this hand-wringing and arguing about the value of life versus the value of livelihood and when to end the lockdown would be greatly eased if we all believed and trusted in God. He did not create us for the struggling and suffering and sorrow that we all experience in this life. He made us to enjoy a blissful, suffering-free, immortal existence in his presence forever. When a believer dies, he enters that existence.

How I wish that God would send someone back to earth from heaven…like Billy Graham perhaps…to confirm that it’s all true, and even that heaven is a million times more wonderful than we could imagine. What a glorious, joy-filled revival there would be here on earth as we look forward to the joy of heaven.

But that’s highly unlikely. At least apart from the someone whose return has been foretold for the end of the age. When he comes back, all who have been waiting for him will begin to enjoy new lives and livelihoods in the homeland to which we truly belong.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. – Philippians 3:20