Tag Archives: Death

Seek What Will Last Forever

My mom would have been 92 today. She’s been with Jesus for about 5 1/2 years. What would she say to her family? 

Love each other!
Help each other.
Forgive.
Seek Jesus.
Show mercy.

Life is short! Live for what’s eternal.

What matters is God, people, and living for Jesus. Everything else will be gone in the blink of an eye. Earthly things will turn to dust. Money, accomplishments, possessions, honors, success will last as long as a flower in spring. Seek what will last forever:

Intimacy with Christ.
His truth revealed in the Holy Bible.
Loving people.
God’s will above all.

Help me Father! Help me live for what is eternal. Life is so brief. I don’t have time to waste. Lead me in the paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Change my heart where it needs to be changed. 

Holy Spirit help me submit to You and resist selfish living. I can’t live this way in my strength alone. Thank You for Your promise in 2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”

Thank You that one day I will be with my mom in heaven. Until then may your will be done in and through me. 

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What Happens After Death?

I clung to my mom as she took her final breath. Immediately, her arm became lifeless and heavy. I sensed the moment her spirit left her body, such a sacred and powerful experience. 

Death is the one thing no one can avoid. No matter how much we want life on this earth to continue, we will all die. The great King Solomon of Old Testament times determined, “No one has power over the time of their death” (Ecclesiastes 8:8). 

Even so, these outer shells we live in aren’t our true selves. Our spirits are the essence of our real being. We were made in the image of our eternal God. When our bodies return to dust, our souls continue to live. But what will come next?

BIBLICAL TRUTH

Whatever our beliefs are, we need a source for truth, otherwise, we’re holding on to a fantasy. Something we made up. I believe in the Holy Bible’s authority. To learn more read this article: (Why Should You Believe the Bible?). 

Why do we have to die?

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, records how God created a perfect world. The first man and woman were innocent and did not know evil. God wanted us to love Him by choice. He gave Adam and Eve complete freedom in the garden of Eden except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God’s enemy, Satan, tempted Eve by suggesting God was withholding something good from her. Believing him, she disobeyed God, ate from the tree and encouraged Adam to do the same. By taking the fruit, Adam and Eve demonstrated a lack of trust in God. This was the first sin.

Their rebellion opened the door to sin, which then corrupted all God created. From this time forward, every person born would choose disobedience. Evil leads to destruction and cannot be in God’s presence. Therefore, the first humans were cast out of the garden and separated from God. Now all would inevitably die.

God’s remedy for sin and death.

But from the beginning, God had a plan to redeem us. He promised a deliverer would come. Speaking to the devil He said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike His heel” (Genesis 3:15). A prophecy of when Jesus Christ would come and Satan would incite men to kill Him. But by dying as a perfect sacrifice, Jesus would defeat our enemy and provide a way for salvation to all. 

These Scriptures promise eternal life to all who believe in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made:

“For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die’” (John 11:25-26).

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

“For God so loved the world that He have His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

“For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:40).

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28). 

“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:11-13).

Five times Bible characters had glimpses into heaven:

1. The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel reported, “In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God” (Ezekiel 1:1).

Ezekiel observed God’s glory causing him to fall face down in worship. He witnessed unimaginable angelic beings. He received visions and instructions from God. 

2. Peter, John, and James, three of Jesus’s closest disciples watched Jesus transformed into a glorious form while on a mountain top. Moses and Elijah appeared with Him, and they discussed Jesus’s departure from earth. 

After spending hundreds of years in eternity, Moses and Elijah were recognizable, actively serving God, visible on earth, and “appeared in glorious splendor” (Luke 9:28-32).

3. While being stoned for his faith in Jesus, “Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God’” (Acts 7:55-56).

4. Paul who wrote much of the New Testament received a vision of heaven. He described how he “was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell” (2 Corinthians 12:4).

5. John, the beloved disciple, was given the ability to see God’s kingdom, as a result he wrote the book of Revelation. He recorded, “After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this” (Revelation 4:1).

All these accounts teach us heaven is a real place filled with God’s glory.

What will our eternal home be like?

We’ll find the peace our hearts long for in the presence of our Father. The perfect dwelling place where: “’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” (Revelation 21:4).

Our final enemy will be defeated, “’Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’... But thanks to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

Ultimately believers in Jesus will have new bodies:

“But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?’ How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed... So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable... It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:35-44). 

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21).

Judgment Will Come

I confess I wish I could skip this part of the truth. I often push aside the teaching on judgment and hell because it’s painful. But it’s also reality.

Scripture teaches:

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:28).

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ...” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

“... For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat” (Romans 14:10). 

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it... And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books... Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

The book of life will only contain those who have believed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

What about those who reject faith in Jesus Christ? 

Jesus revealed, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (John 3:36).

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

“And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us” (Luke 16:26).  

We have a choice. We can face judgment on our own and be condemned to eternal separation from God in hell or accept by faith that Jesus Christ took our verdict for us and live with Him forever.

INNER KNOWLEDGE

If we’re honest with ourselves, we each know we’re meant to live forever. Death never feels right and is our enemy. The wise King Solomon from the Old Testament wrote, “He has also set eternity in the human heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). 

EXPERIENTIAL TRUTH

It can be tricky using someone’s personal story to establish truth. Yet, we can’t ignore these revelations. These accounts teach us that life doesn’t end with physical death. 

“Near-death experiences (NDEs) are reported by about 17 % of those who nearly die. NDEs have been reported by children, adults, scientists, physicians, priests, ministers, among the religious and atheists, and from countries around the world. (Jeffrey Long, MD, expert on NDEs)

It’s probable that some of these incidents are fabricated or imagined. Others could be drug induced. But some are real encounters with God or possibly deceptive spirits. Most likely they are some of each and therefore can’t be ignored. The individual accounts contain too many similarities and unexplained knowledge to be dismissed. 

“...even...skeptics rarely accuse experiencers of inventing their stories from whole cloth. Though some of these stories may be fabrications, and more no doubt become embellished in the retelling, they’re too numerous and well documented to be dismissed altogether.” (Gideon Lichfield, The Atlantic)

Most report a positive encounter and often see an intense light and experience a sense of well-being. Others witness a terrifying view of hell and its demons. But we must remember if NDEs provide a glimpse into the spirit world, the Bible teaches us to test the spirits. Seeing a being of light doesn’t automatically make it from God. The Apostle Paul warned us, “...Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). 

Brandon Clay writes, “A near-death experience seems to bring people closer to the spiritual realm. So it is possible for people to be led astray in a near-death experience by malevolent spirits who appear benevolent but are actually bent on deceiving them.” 

New-Testament disciple John revealed how we test a spirit, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God” (1 John 4:1-2). 

If a person’s NDE leads them to believe all will go to heaven and one need not believe in Jesus, that’s a lie from a deceptive spirit.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We can’t know exactly what will happen the moment we take our last breath. Scripture does indicate we’ll be with our Lord immediately when we die. Speaking to the thief on the cross, “Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in paradise’” (Luke 23:43).

The Apostle Paul exclaimed, “I... would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).

We know heaven will be a place beyond anything we can imagine. We will see the glory of God and experience freedom from all pain and sorrow. 

Those who reject Jesus and His sacrifice will face immediate, eternal separation from God. An isolation and place of pain beyond human comprehension. 

The glorious truth is we have a choice. God calls us to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. When we do, we’re guaranteed an eternity filled with joy and peace.  

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What Must I Do To Have Eternal Life?

If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame.’ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13

All world religions aside from Christianity have a long list of what one must do to be saved. Rules have to be kept. You have to work or earn salvation.

The truth is there is nothing we can do to earn salvation or work our way to heaven. On our own, we’re helpless. The Good News is Jesus did it for us! He lived a perfect life. He did the work. He died for us and then rose again conquering death for us. When we believe in Him and trust in His work, we have eternal life and no one can take that away.

Trust Jesus. The work is done.

Thank You Jesus for dying for me. Thank You that Your Spirit lives in me and I belong to You. Please open the eyes of all who read this to know You love them and died for them.

Please comment with any questions.

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Lesson From the Coffin

Yesterday was Father’s Day. My dad has been gone from earth for almost 20 years! I loved him much and his death was the first one that rocked my world. I wrote this at the time after seeing him in his coffin for the first time. It still teaches me today:

As I see your face there in the coffin,

one so dear to me…

The reality hits hard.

You’re truly gone.

Death does come.

If death has taken you, it will also take me.

It will take each one I know.

You’ve left this earth.

There is your lifeless body.

No movement.

No sound.

It’s the lack of sound that pricks my heart the most.

The body you left behind is an empty shell.

Where is your spirit?

Where is the living being that was you?

Praise God! You are with Jesus.

I can know your spirit lives because you trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ.

You accepted His payment for your sins.

Seeing your body teaches me this world is not my home.

This is hard to grasp but true.

We are here such a brief time.

You used to talk about how your life was just a breath, a vapor.

Now I see how true that is.

You were here such a short time though it was 81 years.

Those years were just a blink of the eye.

Will I accept this reality?

Will I live for what is eternal?

It’s so tempting to live for the moment, enjoy myself, be comfortable,

check items off my list without thought of eternity.

If I allow myself to see the shortness of time,

will I change anything?

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”James 4:14 (NLT)

‘Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

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How Do I Gain Eternal Life?

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“For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:40

We talk a lot about finding out what God’s will is. We often pray to ask Him His will. Jesus told us plainly in this verse what His primary will is:

That everyone—every person— who looks to Jesus His Son and believes in Him will have eternal life. And Jesus then promises that He will raise them up at the last day. He will fully restore all who believe in Him when He returns. We are with Him at the moment we die but in the end, will be restored to all He created us to be. He will make everything new! (Revelation 21:5)

This is the gospel! Look to Jesus and believe.

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I Miss You Mom

It’s Mother’s Day and you’re gone.

How can I reach out to you?

I want to call you up,

give you flowers,

say what you mean to me.

I want to tell you again, “I love you.”

Thank you for all you’ve been to me.

Instead, I have this ache in my heart,

an emptiness…

I won’t see you on earth again.

The pain is deep, it cuts my heart,

yet there is no despair.

What joy to know

someday I’ll see your face again

perfect as it should be.

In heaven complete,

pure and whole,

never to part again.

 “Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”

I Corinthians 15:55

Excerpt from Butterflies, Biscuits, and Rain. Available at:

Books by Susan Aken

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Don’t Lose Heart

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The entire world is facing a challenging time. We’ve all been brought to a halt by a microscopic virus. This has revealed our weakness as humans. How do we keep our hope?

The Apostle Paul, one who went from persecuting believers in Jesus to suffering for his faith in Jesus, wrote some encouraging words that help me.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Do not lose heart. Whatever is happening in the world or in our personal lives, we don’t have to lose heart or grow so weary we give up. We’re all wasting away on the outside. The statistics on death are that one out of one will die one day. Every person’s body is slowing wasting away and we will all face death, but for believers, inwardly, in our spirits, we are being renewed every day. Our spirits will never die! As we follow him, our spirits grow stronger every day.

Whatever problems we face, Paul wrote, and he faced some huge ones, compared to eternal glory, they are easy and last for just a moment! We can’t even imagine what God has prepared for those who love Him! If we could even get a glimpse, we would see our problems are nothing compared to that.

So what do we do? We fix our eyes on what we can’t see, on the eternal glory to come which will last forever. We don’t focus on what we see right now, the problems all around, those are temporary.

Is that easy? No. Not at all. We’re humans. Of course we think about what is happening to us right now. But, if we start to lose heart or grow weary or are tempted to give up, we need to remember that this is all temporary and meditate on the glory to come.

Jesus, help me to keep my eyes on you and not on the problems around me. Thank You that I will be with You forever. Help me not to lose heart. There is so much evil in the world, but thank you that You said, You have overcome the world. I know You will make everything right one day.

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Power over Death

Lenten reading day 21

Read John 11:38-44

How can we fully grasp this scene? Lazarus had been dead four days. His body had started to decay to the point it was stinking. It would be impossible for him to come back to life. Yet, when Jesus commanded,
“Lazarus, come out!” v. 43,
the impossible happened. Lazarus was restored to life and he walked out of the tomb! I can’t imagine witnessing such a miracle! There could be no doubt that Jesus was divine. Only God could bring life from death. Then Jesus said,
“Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” v. 44
This is a picture of what Jesus does for every believer when the day of death comes. Only, we won’t be brought back to continue living in a sinful world only to die again (as Lazarus had to do). When our bodies die, we will rise to live forever!

God has power over all that exists. He created everything and He holds it all together.

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Am I Really Serious? by Kim Chipman

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Some very powerful thoughts from my friend who has suffered a painful loss:

S~ Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you want to return to the Lord with all your hearts, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Turn your hearts to the Lord and obey him alone; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.” 1 Samuel 7:3 (NLT)

O~ The Israelites had been mourning for 20 years – they felt the Lord had abandoned them. Samuel attempted to inspire some action from them instead of just whining and complaining about it.

A~ So, if I am really serious about You then how do I respond?

Our family is processing the passing of my 6 year old nephew Parker. He had a rare, aggressive form of leukemia and went to be with Jesus April 6th. He had been ill for some time, although there were many ups and downs and this last period of intense illness and decline was quite rapid. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking, praying, and talking with my husband and kids about it all.

It’s a lot easier to believe You when things are comfortable, predictable, safe, happy, logical, and fair. When no one bumps into my happy. When we’re coasting. The thing is, when you turn up the heat is when my heart is purified. When I have to make the hard choices. When I must decide to either trust Your Word is truth or believe something else is. When it is so painfully difficult, when it doesn’t make sense to me, and when I just don’t understand…when circumstances taunt me into choosing ‘foreign gods’ of comfort…of immediate gratification…of “did God really say…?”…then what?

“If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord” – then be serious about it, Kim. This world is not our home. It is broken, unfair, and temporary. Parker is in heaven! No more pain, no more cancer, no more struggle. If I’m serious about You then I need to choose to believe You no matter the circumstances. You allow difficult things. It isn’t random or beyond your control. Heaven is perfect, the world isn’t.

I determine to trust and obey only the Lord.

And I hate cancer.

P~ Lord, I love You. I love Your Word. I love Your truth which never changes no matter the swirling circumstances. I choose You. I trust You. I love You.

Please read  the rest of the SOAP notes here:

https://discoveronething.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/april-9-1-samuel-67-psalm-72-2-corinthians-9-2/

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