Stepping into eternity

I chuckled this week when I heard about an epitaph on an actor’s grave: “I did not audition for this.”

It’s a funny line.  But I prefer the apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15:55:

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

Paul did not fear death.  In fact, he expected more wonderful things to come when he stepped into eternity to be with Jesus.

Paul wasn’t fed up with life, despite being stoned, whipped, starved and jailed for speaking about Jesus.  He wanted to stick around longer so that he could invest more of his life into bringing the good news of Christ to even more people.

His words in Philippians 1:23-24 sum up his thinking:

“I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.  But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.”

Paul had been given a mission by Jesus and he was passionate about it.  He wanted more and more people to know the love of Christ and to become followers of Jesus.

There were times in my life when I worried that health issues would lead to what I considered premature death.  I did not want to die because I had a family and I didn’t want to leave them.  The first time, my children had not yet left home and I felt a responsibility to be with them and to help my wife care for them until they were on their own.  The second time, I wanted to enjoy my retirement years with my wife.

But I did not fear death.

As believers in Christ, we should not be afraid of death.  Even more, we should look forward to being with God where there is everlasting joy.

As I have mentioned before, I have been thinking and reading about heaven and seeing Christ face to face.  I believe that our lives on earth as believers are preparing us for being in God’s presence in heaven.  We are being shaped more and more into the image of Jesus.

We will be free of the trials and troubles of earth.

We will see Jesus; we will laugh with him; and we will speak with him face to face.

Nothing could be better.

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