Family

How to face death

I’m in my 80s. As seniors, we keep active, but there are moments when we reflect on our mortality. How should we face death which could come at any moment? What is heaven like?

Lily

At The Well

Li Ping says

Dear Lily,

In a sense, all Christians have already faced death for we were baptised into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3). Hence, we need not fear physical death, for if we are united with Christ’s death, we are also united with him in his resurrection (Romans 6:4-5) and will be resurrected at the end of all things (Revelation 21:1-4).

The Bible is not explicit about what heaven is like, but what is clear is that when we die, we go to be with Jesus. As Paul says, “My desire is to depart and be with Christ” (Philippians 1:23). Death, then, is like a homecoming to be with the God who loves us dearly. And whether immediately after death, or at the final resurrection, we will see Jesus face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12), a glorious hope and joy indeed!

Death can also be seen as an end to God’s earthly assignment for us. As Paul says, “If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me” (Philippians 1:22). Whether we are 80 or 18 or 8, if God still gives us breath in our lungs, his work for us is not finished. May we therefore joyfully live each day serving God, knowing that when death comes, it is even better, for we go to be with Jesus. As Paul says, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

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