What and Why I Believe
Many people over the years have asked me how my faith in Christ can remain so strong after going through much personal heartache. We all have to realize the fact that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. In Philippians 4:13, the Bible reminds us that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. We live in a sin filled world, full of all types of trials, temptations, and trouble. The only true peace we can ever hope to obtain is only found in a relationship with Jesus. Throughout history, people have searched for peace in the world in which they live only to be consistently disappointed. Before Jesus went to back to Heaven, He told His followers that He would not leave them alone. He told His followers that He would send a comforter to be with them called the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “my peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world gives I give unto you, do not let your hearts be troubled and do not let them be afraid.” When we invite Jesus to come into our hearts, the Holy Spirit makes His home in our hearts. He will lead, guide, and direct our lives if we will allow Him to.
One area of our lives that many people struggle with is what happens to us when we die. Everyone needs peace concerning the hereafter. For the answer to this, let us turn to our instruction manual the Bible. Paul reminds us in 2nd Corinthians that when we know Christ, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. In Philippians, Paul said to live is Christ, but to die is gain. The day that Jesus was crucified on Golgotha, one of the thieves realized that Jesus was the Savior and asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. I am sure this thief was not expecting an immediate answer, but he received one. Jesus said, today you will be with me in paradise. This tells us that the soul of the believer goes to Heaven while the body waits on the resurrection. When Jesus was entering Bethany because His friend Lazarus had died, Jesus told Lazarus’ sister Martha that I He was the resurrection and the life, if a man believes in Him he shall live, even though he dies, and if a man lives and believes in Him he shall never die. This means at death, Christians merely change addresses from earth to Paradise. In the book of Acts we see that Stephen was being martyred for his faith. He looked up to Heaven and saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God the Father. Stephen said, Lord Jesus receive my spirit and I have no doubt that is just what happened. Some people believe that when we die our souls are asleep, but the Bible talks about the souls of martyrs crying out for justice on the earth in Revelation 6. In Matthew 17, the Bible refers to Moses and Elijah appearing with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. In Hebrews 12 the Bible refers to the great cloud of witnesses that surround us. Some people believe that our souls go to purgatory after death to be punished for our sins. The problem with this is that none of us could endure what our sins deserve and the Bible says that the wages of sin is death not purgatory in Romans 6. Purgatory occurred at Calvary, the Bible says that Jesus took our punishment and became our purgatory. In Hebrews 1, the Bible says that when He had brought about the purgation of our sins, He took His seat at the right hand of Majesty on high.
As humans, we just do not do separation well. Even though we know where our loved ones are and where we are going when we know Jesus, there is still a separation period when someone dies. We must take consolation in the fact that there is pain here, there is no pain there, there is crying here, there is no crying there, there is worrying here, and there is no more worrying in Heaven. It truly is a perfect place for a prepared people. Are you prepared?
In His Service,