Climb Higher: Victory in Christ
Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-57
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
"Death is swallowed up in victory."
"O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- If I died tomorrow, would I go to heaven?
- Is death the end?
- How will I deal with the inevitable loss of those I love so much? Will they have eternal life?
Death happens all around us every day, to the point that we don't even bat an eye at the countless newspaper stories or TV reports of someone's passing. But when death strikes closer to home, as it did with the family of the accident victim, it hits hard and deep. Chances are, you've had your own sad brush with death--a parent who passed away when you were very young, a best friend who was killed in a car crash, a teacher or pastor who quietly went to be with the Lord.
Unless you've had an experience with death, the whole issue of dying is probably the furthest thing from your mind. But none of us is immortal. The truth is, scientists will never find a cure for death. Mankind will never escape it (on our own, that is). Someday, whether by accident or illness or old age, each one of us will die. (Unless the Lord returns first!) And death stings. It's an enemy, not a friend--both of God and of man. Worst of all, death is the ultimate bad day for those who haven't accepted Christ as their Savior. But if you're a Christian, you know that your final heartbeat won't be the mysterious end to life. And when you stand at the graveside of a Christian brother or sister, you know your loss is only temporary. That date when you and other believers meet Jesus face to face will be the ultimate homecoming. It will be the grand beginning to a life that never ends.
Sharing the Good News is the answer. God doesn't want anyone to miss out on eternal life with Him. But the bottom line is this: Those who don't have a personal friendship with Jesus--those who don't repent of their sins and accept Christ in their hearts--will not have eternal life with God. That's why it's important to share the Lord's plan of salvation with everyone. Believe me, it's an awful feeling when a loved one dies and you're unsure if he's in heaven with Jesus.
Lord, please give me hope--even in the face of death. Help me to trust You and to know that death is not the end. I will spend eternity with You. Help me to share this hope with others. Amen.