Summary: Paul wrote so much to remind and encourage about what it meant to live beyond this life and how we should celebrate that truth that the world cannot understand.
One thing you notice when you study what Paul wrote is that he wrote some much about what we talk so little about. It may be because the people he wrote to faced death on a daily basis. War, persecution, disease and lack of medical advances made death a constant reality.
Paul wrote so much to remind and encourage about what it meant to live beyond this life and how we should celebrate that truth that the world cannot understand.
• The Christian life can be somewhat defined by living one place while experiencing another. We live in a present ‘earthly tent’ yet we yearn to be clothed with a permanent dwelling.
• The only thing that should exceed our physical groans from the limitations of our earthly vessels is our spiritual groans for the fullness of the existence God has prepared for each one of us beyond this life.
1 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.
6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord - 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.
• It is ironic that life’s greatest uncertainty comes from life’s greatest certainty.
We are certain to all die but apart from God’s revelation we would be completely uncertain what that would mean for each one of us.
Life is short and so uncertain. “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14b).
Worldwide, there are approximately 56,600,000 deaths each year. 4.7 million per month, 155,000 per day, 6,500 per hour, 107 per minute, and 1.8 per second. Life is a gift: We do not know when we will die but that we will die.
In any cemetery and you can’t really tell the difference between the Christians and the non-Christians. They both lie buried side by side, six feet underground. There they are, all grouped together, young and old, male and female, rich and poor, famous and infamous, churchgoers and nonbelievers. WHAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE?
• Death is not the end of the story for those who know the Lord. The Bible tells us what lies ahead for those who know Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 5, we discover wonderful truths that give us hope as we face death with all its dark fears.
• The Greek culture did not believe in a bodily resurrection but thought that the soul was ‘imprisoned’ in the physical body and would one day be released.