To Our Church Family and Friends,
Like a few of our elders, I got to enjoy visiting with Sam Leftwich in the hospital this past week. Sam and I got to talking about our human bodies that are breaking down. All of us are breaking down – some at faster rates than others. We try to take care of ourselves by eating right, exercise, avoiding bad habits and proper rest. But we are breaking down. No matter how healthy we live, Ecclesiastes 7:2 says about death, “this is the end of all mankind and the living lay it to heart.” And 3:20 says, “All are from dust, and to dust all return.”
I love the realism of the Bible. It tells us to keep all things in perspective. All of us are dying unless we live to see Jesus return.
When Sam and I talked, he asked if I believed we will know each other in life after this life. He wondered if we would know how we knew each other here on earth. I know why he was asking. He was thinking of Dot, his dear bride who went to be with the Lord a few months ago.
I told him I really do believe it. I believe there will be a reunion with those who have already gone to be with the Lord. Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 that when Jesus returns he will bring along all who have died and were in a relationship with Him at the time of their death. I don’t know if we will be aware of those who have died outside of Christ. It seems to me that would bring sadness and we know there is neither mourning or crying or pain (Rev. 21) so I believe they will be erased from our memory. But who knows how that works for sure aside from the Lord?
Whenever Paul or John tried to describe what eternity with the Lord will be like, they drew upon the strongest words imaginable to give us a glimpse. I imagine they must have felt the way we would feel trying to describe blue, or red, or green to a person who has been blind from birth. We might try to do it by appealing to their sense of hearing or touch to convey something about what a color is like. But we would know it is inadequate.
I like how Paul says in 1 Cor. 2:9 “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
We are told throughout the Word to keep our eyes focused on what has been promised to us and trust it will be greater than anything we’ve ever imagined. We are (as someone has said) in the land of the dying on our way to the land of the truly living – IF we are in Christ.