God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being, and the creatures of the world are wholesome; There is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of Hades on earth, For righteousness is undying. For God formed us to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made us. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are allied with him experience it. ~ Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24 (NABRE)
Death. To you and me that means we cease to live here on earth. Yet, at the beginning death was not part of our existence. God made Adam and then gave him a warning.
The Lord God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; when you eat from it you shall die.Genesis 2:16-17 (NABRE)
Did Adam know what “death” meant? Did he realize what the consequences really meant? If he had, do you think he would have eaten the apple?
What happens when we die? Some people believe that nothing happens. You just cease to exist. Others believe that you go to Heaven (or Hell, if you were bad enough). This is the big unknown in life. After all, all those who have experienced death aren’t here to tell us about it. There are some near death experiences where people say that they have been reunited with loved ones, that they end up in God’s presence and essentially are taken to a Christian version of heaven.
Heaven is being back in God’s presence. Hell is the absence of God. Think about it. God is love. God is light. When you are filled with love and light, you are filled with such joy! That is just a hint of what it will be like to be back in His presence. God loves us so much that he doesn’t want to be separated from us completely. This is why he has given us a “second chance.” When we die and leave our physical presence here on earth we then pass onto another plane of existence where we continue to live in a different state of being. It is the hope and promise of being back in His existence that gives us the fortitude to suffer through our lives.
What’s the harm of believing in God and His love for us? If I believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and that God is the only way, then I believe that I will one day pass onto the next realm where I will be reunited with loved ones and, most importantly, God. There is no death because through Jesus Christ death was arrested and we will live forever. In this way we are still the creatures that God created and we are imperishable. No matter what, if you believe, death no longer has any hold over you.
I would like to recommend a book to you that I feel is something that every Christian should have on their bookshelf. I read it every year, usually around the anniversary of my sister’s death, because it bolsters my hope and belief in the fact that I will see my loved ones again. The book is Imagine Heaven by John Burke.