Last Friday my Grandfather died.
It wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it is still tough to process and work through. Nevertheless it would be far tougher if he wasn’t a Christian. As far as I know he trusted in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, and if that is true then these promises apply to him.
Since my Grandfather was a Christian, there are a number of promises that God has reminded me of from his word – promises that comfort and encourage. Here are a few.
1 Thessalonians 4:14
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
God has promised that he will bring all who are Christians back to life. He has promised that when he returns he will bring my grandfather and my grandmother with him – and if I have died by then, he will bring me too. He will bring us back to life and if we are his people he will take us into his kingdom where we will be with him forever. What a glorious promise and encouragement!
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
God has promised that his people will live with him forever. David trusted in that promise in Psalm 23, and even hundreds of years later we Christians can trust in that promise. We won’t dwell with God because we are good enough or because we deserve it. We will dwell with God because Jesus died in our place. He took our sin – what separates us from God and makes us unworthy of his love. Jesus died to take that punishment, and if we put our faith in him we will dwell with God forever. Therefore when I die I will see my Grandfather and Grandmother again “in the house of the Lord forever”. What a wonderful promise!
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
God has promised that when he brings us into heaven he will give us new bodies – with no more suffering, no more death. Therefore I know that my grandfather is out of his pain and suffering. That is far better than him staying here another few years and being sick for longer.
I trust that my Grandfather is in heaven glorifying God, as he was created to do. In reality only he and God knew if he truly was a Christian. But assuming he was then these promises apply to him. And what a comfort they are!
Do you know and trust in these promises?
P.s. if you’re a Christian, I’d really appreciate prayer for our family as we mourn. I’d also appreciate prayer to have the opportunity and courage to share the gospel out of this and to tell people of the hope we have in Jesus.