And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.
I heard the story of a Christian man who was on his deathbed and called his three sons into his room. To his two sons who were believers, he said, “Good-bye, my sons. I will see you in the morning.”
Then he turned to his other son, who wasn’t a Christian. With sadness in his voice, he said, “Good-bye, son.”
The son answered, “Father, why did you say, ‘I will see you in the morning’ to my brothers, yet you said ‘Good-bye’ to me?”
“Because you haven’t put your faith in Christ,” his father told him. “I can’t say I will see you in the morning. I’m just saying good-bye, because I don’t think I’ll ever see you again.”
The son began to weep. “But I want to see you again,” he said.
“You have to put your faith in Christ. Then we will be reunited,” his father told him. So his son became a believer that day.
The hope of the Christian is that we’ll see our loved ones again. Death is not the end. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t sad when a loved one dies. We grieve like any person grieves. We cry. The depth of our sorrow is an indication of the depth of our love. If you love someone and they’re gone, then of course you grieve deeply.
But as believers, we also have hope. We know we’ll be reunited with our loved ones who have died in Christ. I believe that thinking about heaven is one of the best things we can do when we’re grieving. In fact, heaven becomes much more real to us when we have loved ones there.
We don’t grieve hopelessly; we grieve hopefully. For the Christian, life on earth is as bad as it gets. Better things are coming.
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