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Today's Daily Encounter
What Happens to Christians when We Die?
"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that
we who are alive and remain until the coming of the
Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For
the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of
God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we
who are alive and remain shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And thus we shall always be with the Lord."1
Here's an interesting question posed by a Daily
Encounter reader: "When a Christian dies, does he/she
go directly to heaven to be with the Lord, or does
he/she remain in the grave until the resurrection and
return of Jesus when the ‘dead in Christ’ shall rise?"
My challenger believed that I was in error saying that
my friend who died is now in heaven with the Lord.
And certainly the Apostle Paul in today's Scripture
seems to indicate that when we die, we will remain in
the grave until the Lord returns.
On the other hand, the Apostle Paul also said, "So we
are always confident, even though we know that as long
as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the
Lord. That is why we live by believing and not by
seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would
rather be away from these bodies, for then we will be
at home with the Lord."2
Again Paul seems to indicate that when a Christian
dies, he goes directly to be with the Lord in Heaven.
He said, "For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is
even better. Yet if I live, that means fruitful service
for Christ. I really don't know which is better. I'm
torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to live, and
sometimes I long to go and be with Christ. That would
be far better for me, but it is better for you that I
I don't claim to be a theologian by any means, but it
seems to me that it is our bodies that will be raised
at the resurrection and return of the Lord, and that
our soul/spirit goes directly to be with the Lord when
As an interesting sidelight, another Daily Encounter
reader shared the following: “When my grandmother (who
was the strongest Christian woman I've ever known) was
on her deathbed from cancer in her last moments, I
vividly remember her having a smile on her face and
saying, ‘Oh my, Oh my!’ I firmly believe that this was
because she was seeing heaven. It is truly there!"
Either way, the most important thing of all is that we
are ready to meet God face to face. I'm not in a hurry
to prove my point as I hope by the grace of God I can
keep publishing the gospel for many years to come.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank You
enough for Your great love and so great a salvation,
and for the blessed hope I have as a Christian, knowing
that after this life on earth is over, I will live
forever with You in Heaven for all eternity. And
because You loved me enough to die for me, please help
me to love You enough to live for You all the days of
my life--or until Jesus comes if that should come
first--to take me home to Heaven. Thank You for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name,
NOTE: If you are not sure that you will go to Heaven
when you die, be sure to read the article, "How to Be
Sure You're a Real Christian" at:
1. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (NIV).
2. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 (NLT).
3. Philippians 1:21-24 (NLT).
NOTE: If you would like to accept God's forgiveness
for all your sins and His invitation for a full pardon
Click on: http://www.actsweb.org/invitation.php. Or
if you would like to re-commit your life to Jesus Christ,
please click on http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php to note this.
* * * * * * *
Daily Encounter is published at no charge by
ACTS International, a non-profit organization,
and made possible through the donations of
interested friends. Donations can be sent at:
P.O. Box 73545
San Clemente, California 92673-0119
Copyright (c) 2015 by ACTS International.
When copying or forwarding include the following:
"Daily Encounter by Richard (Dick) Innes (c) 2015
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