For the unbeliever – death is the portal to an instant appointment with The Judge. God is not an elected, little judge. As Creator of all that exists, He’s got all the power. He became the ultimate unavoidable Judge of His created beings: us on earth.
In the beginning
God (Elohim) created
[by forming from nothing]
the heavens and the earth.
– Genesis 1: verse 1
And heeerrrre we go again, day after day, living as His created ones, on earth, surrounded by His creation, His universe, accountable to Him as our Creator. Jesus said, “…Do you believe this?” 1 And that is the essential question. Do you believe Jesus? By your answer you (1) “perish”, or, (2) you live forever with Him in a Kingdom which He prepared for us. Jesus wants you to live.
25 Jesus said to her,
“I am the Resurrection and the Life.
Whoever believes in
(adheres to, trusts in, relies on)
Me [as Savior]
will live even if he dies;
26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me [as Savior]
will never die.
Do you believe this?”
– John 11:25-26 2
There is an “if” in this promise from Jesus. If you believe in me. That is the key in Jesus’ promise.
To “never perish” – you must put your faith in Jesus.
The “if” that Jesus refers to is the believing in Him: “Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, relies on) Me [as Savior]….”
John 11:25-26 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Don’t let the threat of death – the pain, the sorrow and anguish… jerk your eyes off Jesus. In the midst of whatever is thrown at us in this life – His promise is that He holds us in His hands: our today, our tomorrow (our future), and our next life.
There is coming a day when death itself will be defeated:
13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and the Grave gave up the dead that were in them, and people were judged by what they had done. 14 Then Death and the Grave were thrown into the fiery lake. This, the fiery lake, is the second death. 15 Then anyone whose name wasn’t found written in the scroll of life was thrown into the fiery lake. – Revelation 20:13-15 Common English Bible (CEB)
That is the story of death. But for the Christian, there is a story of life everlasting. We need not fear death, because the grave cannot hold us. Our soul never gets buried. The moment we die – our soul is escorted into God’s very presence.
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
[Read the full context: 2 Corinthians 5:1-9]
What fear is there of death if in the instant we “die” — we in that instant are suddenly with the Lord? No fear in that! That’s why Jesus said, “shall never [actually] die at all“. To “die” is to end this life. But if, without a pause, we phase-into the next life – what death is that? No death at all. [For more about “time”: Timeless Infinite Continuum]
EHV verse 26:And whoever lives and believes in me will never perish. Do you believe this?”
AMPC verse 26:And whoever continues to live and believes in (has faith in, cleaves to, and relies on) Me shall never [actually] die at all. Do you believe this?
Our body dies, but our spirit and soul do not. For all of us, time is just earth time. The next life changes all things.
Our soul never gets buried
A “death” where all we do is loose our body — is no “death” at all. We do “not perish, but have eternal life.” When our body dies, our soul and spirit are immediately with the Lord, instantly (2 Corinthians 5:8).
1 Corinthians 15:54-58
54 And when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says, “Death is swallowed up in victory (vanquished forever). 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin [by which it brings death] is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [as conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].” [Read all of 1 Corinthians 15 for context.]
When death is at the doorstep of my soul (as in: …about to happen, maybe) then our faith in Jesus sustains us. Realize that death is just a doorway. We can pray something like this:
“Oh my God, my dear, dear Father God (Abba Father) – I’m ready. Thank you that my sins are gone (gone, gone, gone, gone…), forever gone, forgiven because you suffered and died and came back from the dead – victorious over sin and death.
I confess again, as again and again I’m reminded of how gracious you are to all sinners who repent: I am so unworthy of your love. “I believe. Help me in my unbelief.” Forgive me and make me clean as clean can be. Thank you that you have declared me to be your child and written my name in the Book of Life.
Thank you that you will receive me with love and total acceptance. It may be soon. It may be this instant. What joy will be mine when I finally cross over …into your very presence, into your Royal Kingdom of Heaven.
I’m ready if you want to take me Home.”
There is a whole lot of failure going on in the world: a failure to believe in Jesus as Savior. We must keep our eyes on Him in the midst of it all. Whatever trials come our way, He alone is our hope. Be it here or be it there – whether we stay, or whether we go… in Him alone we have a future.
“As for me, I shall see Your face in righteousness;
I will be [fully] satisfied when I awake [to find myself] seeing Your likeness.”
– Psalm 17:15