8 Dec 2013: “What happens when a believer dies?”

Dec 08, 13 8 Dec 2013: “What happens when a believer dies?”

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Written by: Youth Pastor Lydia Ang

In Matthew 3:12, we read that Jesus will one day, “gather His wheat into the barn“. Verses 30-31 of the same chapter, Jesus says, “They will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory and He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds” (24:30-31). That’s what will happen when Jesus comes again: we’d be gathered to meet with Him.

In the Old Testament, we see this word “gather” as well. When Abraham died, Genesis 25 records him as being “gathered to his people“. Genesis chapters 35 and 49 also describe Isaac and Jacob as being “gathered” to their people when they died. Therefore, when a Christian dies, God gathers him/her with the people who belong to Him. The gathering has long begun but one day it will be complete.

What is heaven going to be like? Most believers have a very vague idea of the after-life and some wonder “How is God going to sort everything out?” Will I recognise my loved ones? Will I still be married? What if there are disputes among Christians that couldn’t be resolved in time (before the parties die or before Jesus comes again?!) Jesus said to those who questioned Him, “you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God” – that is probably true of us as well… Not only is there going to be a gathering of His people, there’d be a separation on that Day. Jesus says, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory… He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” Matthew 25:31-32.

Now, good and evil are currently mixed up together in this world. The wheat and the weeds are rooted together, but there’d come a time when there’d be a separation of the two. Judgement will be passed on our workd, our words, our motives, our secrets, etc. How shall we prepare for the day of Judgement? Jesus provided the way to make peace with God so come to Him today. And confess your sins (including the secret ones) to God, and ask Him to cleanse you; He is faithful and just and will forgive you (1 John 1:9) “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

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