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BEYOND THE CLOUDS OF YOUR PROBLEMS
THAT SPARE PLACE
AT THE TABLE
Have you lost a loved one? And hurting badly? Do you wonder how you can manage without the one who was so dear to you? Though of course I don't know you, and I can't contact you because this website has no provision for email, yet I want to tell you that I share your grief. I have been through it, and I understand what you are going through at present.
You may think that nothing can console you - that nothing can ease the emptiness - the pain - or the feelings of despair that you may be going through.
But there are some things that I would like to share with you. Before I do so, I wonder if you would put this article on hold for a few minutes and read first two other articles in this website called: "Beyond Your Problems There Is Hope", and "God's Incredible Promise". When you come back to this article I hope that you will be encouraged by what you read.
Have you read them? That's good. Now you know that God intends to make all things new - a new heaven and a new earth where there will be no more crying, no more pain, and no more death. Its really worthwhile learning about this plan that God is working on for us. But it can be even more appealing when we realise that we could be re-united with our loved ones. We can genuinely live in this hope.
Because Jesus gave His life for the sins of all mankind, and then rose from the dead, we know that He has the power to restore the lives of those close to us whom we have lost.
It should be encouraging to realise that God loves mankind so much that He will build a new earth where all the problems, the heartaches, and the despair which cause us so much angst and unhappiness, will be no more. THERE WILL BE NO MORE PROBLEMS OF ANY KIND.
Best of all, we can share in that marvellous future as we believe in the name of Jesus. If you have a Bible, you can check this out in the book of John, chapter 3 and verses 16 and 18. Here is what it says:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life....He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God".
It really is marvellous news, isn't it?
With that future in mind, let's focus for a few minutes on loved ones we have lost. Did you know that there are two quite different views about this? Many people think that when people die, they go to either heaven or hell. So firstly let us see what the Bible has to say about hell. When the Bible talks about hell, it never talks about a place of punishment.
Overwhelmingly, more than 30 times, the word translated "hell" is from the word "sheol" which means a place of silence or rest. And "sheol" is also translated more than 30 times simply as "the grave".
It is interesting to note that Jacob, who was a man of God, went to "sheol", that is, the grave. (You can read about it in the Bible in Genesis 37, and verse 35.)
It may surprise you to know that there are millions of Christians today who have this alternative view; - that is, that when a person dies, he or she rests in the grave, sometimes described as a sleep.
What about heaven? The Bible says that when Jesus returns He will have His reward with Him. This is what He says: "...behold I come quickly: and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be." You can check this out if you wish, in the Bible in the book of Revelation chapter 22 and verse12.
One of the things that I like about true Christianity, is that there is never any compulsion. Sometimes people try to force us to follow their particular ideas, but that is not God's way. Always He gives us a choice to believe it or not.
So decide for yourself. If Jesus hasn't yet returned to earth, and if He will bring His reward with Him, then is it reasonable to think that no-one has received their reward yet?
Note this too - it is a view which didn't originate with me, but notice rather what the Bible says:
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation". If you would like to check that out, you'll find it in the Bible in the book of John, chapter 5, and verses 28 and 29.
What is "damnation?" If you noted the Bible references earlier in this website, you will have seen that in John chapter 3 and verse 18, that those who are damned, are those who don't believe in the name of Jesus. Those who exercise the choice which God has given to all of us, and have chosen not to believe in the name of Jesus, will finally be destroyed. They wouldn't be happy in heaven anyhow. But that hasn't happened yet.
For those who believe in the name of Jesus, the prospects are bright indeed. The millions of people who accept what the Bible teaches about these things, when they lose loved ones who also believed in Jesus, look forward in confidence and hope to the time when God will renew the lives of those loved ones. Its a great thing to which we can look forward.
Notice one more teaching from the Bible which tells of an event which occurs when Jesus returns to this earth.
"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God: 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: so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words". Like to check this out? You'll find it in the Bible in the first book of Thessalonians - 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and verses 16 to 18.
Some people worry whether their loved one truly believed in Jesus. But we can confidently leave that with Jesus because although He is the Judge, He is also the one who gave His life for us all and He really wants us all to live with Him in the new earth when He comes.
What is more important is that we ourselves understand and believe in the name of Jesus, and leave our future and the future of our loved ones in His hands.
May God bless you and give you peace and hope.
Copyright © G.S.Board. 28 July 2003. All Rights Reserved.
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