Death

Dear Friends,

I want to see you and I be in the kingdom of God. It will be a great place to move. We won’t have to be bothered with so much when we get there! Oh, what a glorious time it will be in the kingdom of God!

Yet, we have so much confusion in this life about what it means for the kingdom of God to come. Some of the platitudes we express upon someone’s death are so nonsensical that we can actually harm one another! For example, “your loved one is in a better place.” Really, we know without a doubt where someone’s loved one is after death? We have this authority and knowledge? Who says that death takes us to a better place when actually having our loved one with us, laughing and loving with each other, might be a better place?

Death is hard. Death stinks (literally and figuratively)! Having a loved one die is difficult for those of us who remain. Yes, I would like to have my Pap right here with me. Using his version of sign language to communicate would be awesome! Yes, I would love to enjoy raiding the cookie containers my Granny kept in her kitchen. She made the most awesome raisin-filled cookies, and oh the moist fruit cocktail cookies, they were delicious. But that cannot be right now. Pap died when I was in my freshman year of high school. Granny died just over five years ago, though dementia took her from us long before her death.

Yes, this grieving for a loved one keeps on going. This separation from our loved ones seems final. In a sense, it is final. In this life we will no longer have our loved ones with us. Blaming God does not help, for God did not kill or take our loved one away. We humans have wanted to go our own way and we see the result of this effort. We die. We turn away from the giver of life, God, so that we can have life our way. Our way leads to death.

Yet, we also know there is the longed for hope of the kingdom of God coming to earth. I want so much to see Pap and Granny in the kingdom of God. Realizing their choice of turning to God and living God’s way in this life matters when I consider if I will see them in the kingdom of heaven. For I, too, will have to continue to make the choice to turn to God and live God’s way in order for me to realize the hope of being in the kingdom of God when it comes.

How do I know there is hope for being in the kingdom of God? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, rose from the dead. It is through believing in Jesus Christ that I have any hope of being in the kingdom of God. This is the only hope any of us have of being in the kingdom of God. By believing in Jesus Christ we are making the choice to turn to God and live God’s way. This is how you and I will be in the kingdom of God. Only God knows if I will see Pap and Granny again. As for me, I am going to keep believing in Jesus Christ so that I may see God, and all my loved ones and friends who made the choice to turn to God in this lifetime.

I want you to believe in Jesus Christ. Turn to God and live. The kingdom of God is coming!

In Christ’s Service,
John

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