The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Security
Hope Beyond the Grave
When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge.
Sometimes it is amazing how much you can learn from your children. Many years ago, when our oldest son was not quite four years old, my wife asked him how people get to heaven when they die. She thought he would say, “Jesus takes us there,” or some reasonable facsimile.
Joshua, however, had other ideas. He said, “When we die, there’s a ladder and we climb on it up to heaven.” A few days later, Marlene asked again, “Joshua, how do people get to heaven when they die?” He stopped to think about it for a while. Then he smiled real big, the way you do when you know you’ve figured out the answer to a tough question. “I know. When we die, God lets down a vacuum and sucks us up to heaven.” This answer sounded a little closer to the truth.
Several more days passed. We visited a shopping mall and Marlene asked once again, “Joshua, how do people get to heaven when they die?” This one is easy. “They ride up on an escalator.” End of quiz.
Actually, there’s something to be said for each answer. After all, the Bible speaks of Jacob’s ladder, and a vacuum does sound something like the rapture. But an escalator? Maybe he had been watching one of those commercials where the two angels escort a man up to the clouds and on to heaven.
Later, I asked Joshua again. This time he said, “I don’t know.” Then he gave the best answer of all, “Let me ask Mom.” So he did, and she just smiled at him.
There are many mysteries to the Christian faith, and one of them is how we get to heaven when we die. It’s just as well that we don’t know the answer. We probably couldn’t understand it anyway.
I tried one last question. “Joshua, who do you have to believe in to go to heaven?” That one was easy. “Jesus!”
In the end, it will not be what we know but who we know that makes the difference. If we know Jesus, we shall go to heaven. If we do not know Him, how we get there will make no difference because we won’t be making the trip
John Wesley, the father of Methodism, was fond of saying, “Our people die well.” He meant that Christians face death with a confidence the world cannot understand. Put simply, we aren’t afraid to die. While we may fear the circumstances of our death, we aren’t worried about what happens afterward. We know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
What does it all mean? The Bible says that we Christians sorrow, but not as those “who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Death will never be easy, but for those who believe in Jesus it is nothing to be feared. If Jesus has taken us this far, He will not abandon us when we need Him most.
Lord Jesus, thank You for taking the sting out of death and setting us free to live without fear. Amen.
How much longer do you expect to live?
Are you afraid to die? Are you ready to die? If you’re not ready to die, what do you need to do to be prepared when the moment comes?
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