In Death, In Victory

It’s a statistic that has no opposition: unless the Lord returns in your lifetime, you will experience physical death. Doing a little mini-study on death, I wanted to share some particular verses that stood out to me, verses that brought me comfort. As I get older, I think about my own death a little more often and, while I try to do things to live a little longer, the reality is I’m not going to live forever in the body I currently have (and thank God for that!) As no amount of exercise, healthy eating, or plastic surgery can overcome this simple fact. The only remaining question is: where will you spend eternity?

If you have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your life, you need not fear death. We are reminded in Psalm 23:4 that God will be with us every step of the transition from this life to the next, comforting us when our hour comes. And when we reach the other side of the cross, we will dwell in the House of God forever (John 14:1-4).

The apostle Paul wrote much on death and on being reunited with His Lord, and we can learn much from his earthly walk. For every day that God gives us on this earth, we should use it to bring Him glory by sharing the Good News wherever we are planted. Paul lived for Christ; his very being was to tell others of the love of God, giving no thought to his own physical well-being. The apostle summed up his feelings this way: “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Oh, that we could all embody such an attitude, how different the world would be. Billy Graham reminds me of an individual with such a mindset of Paul. Traveling to all of those countries during his ministry, traveling to places where there was open hostility to Christianity, yet he remained true to the Gospel unashamedly (Romans 1:16). There was no fear of death, for in death, there would be victory.

The Psalmist reminds us that the death of one of His saints is precious in the sight of God (Psalm 116:15) and that those of us who die in the Lord truly are blessed (Revelation 14:13), as whether it is in our labors here on earth or when our labors cease, we belong to the Lord (Romans 14:8).

I have written before about how awesome it is to think of that in the blink of an eye, at any moment of any given day, we could leave this earthly body and be in the presence of our Lord. There is no time delay; there is no waiting room; there is no being put on hold: we enter into His eternal fellowship the very moment we enter earthly death (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).

Yes, there is victory in death for the believer. As Jesus comforted Martha and Mary, He reminded them that He IS the resurrection and the life (John 11:23-26). Because of this, we are assured that our own death will be swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).

And nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Not even death. For in death, we have victory.