This is called the land of the living, but in reality it is the land of the dying. Once born you begin dying. One day your body will return to the earth from which it came, and your soul will return to God from which it came (Gen.2:7). Only the Bible tells of what happens after death, “to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor.2:9). On that day those in Christ can joyously say, “The end is far better than the beginning.” A woman told her pastor, “When I am in my coffin, place a fork in my right hand.” He asked why. She said, “At all fellowships you say, “Keep your fork – the best is yet to come.” The old is passed away and the new begins, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.”
It seems everything has an end. Every second quickly ends, and it is gone forever. Every hour has a final second. Every morning has a sunrise and a sunset. Every month has a last day. Every year has an ending, and every life has a final breath. As Paul Harvey would say, “Now the rest of the story.” After each moment is another moment. After each hour is a new hour. After each night, is a new morning. After each sunset, there is a sunrise. After each year, there is a new year. After your last breath, there is death. After life ends here, you still exist there. After your departure here, you have an arrival there. Once you are born there will not be a time you will not be. You are not a body with a soul, but you are a soul with a body. Your body dies, you still exist. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). Absent here – Present there! You still exist!
Life ends here but eternal life continues there. Here life fades – there life flourishes. Sorrow here – gladness there. Tears here – triumphs there. Pain here – pleasure there. Old things end – New things start. “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful” (Rev. 21:5). “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout… and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:16-18). D.L. Moody said, “One day you will read in the newspapers that D.L. Moody died. Don’t believe it! D.L. Moody has just begun to live.” At death, “sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (1 Thess. 4:13), but “rejoice because your names are written in Heaven” (Luke 10:20). Taps here – Reveille there. The best is yet to come! As the song, think of one day, “Stepping onshore and calling it Heaven.” Home at last! “Once upon a time, your story began, and one day your story will end.” The end? No! The beginning!