Summary: We think of death as a loss –a loss of a great life, a loss of a beloved person. Death is nothing but losing. But that is not what the bible says about death. There is a verse in the word of God that says, “Death is gain.”
Theme: The Beautiful Side of Death
Text: John 11
A. I’d like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved family of Allan. We want you to know that our heart is with you in these times of sorrows and pain. It’s really painful. It’s really a tough time when a loved one died. Allan’s death is so untimely. He’s still so young. We’re all stunned and we’re hurting about his leaving. Hard to understand it may be, but we have to face the reality: Allan’s time to die has come. The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes that there is “A time to be born, and a time to die.”
B. In these times of sorrows and pain, however, I’d like to tell you that there is a beautiful side of death. The Bible tells us of many wonderful things about death. We find these things however to be very difficult to believe because we think of death as an end to all good things. We think of death as a time of separation. We think of it as a hideous monster to cut off all our joys when it comes upon us. We think of death as a loss –a loss of a great life, a loss of a beloved person. Death is nothing but losing. But that is not what the bible says about death. There is a verse in the word of God that says, “Death is gain.”
Philippians 1: 21
Gain means, “something is acquired,” “something is taken possession of.” Gain means, “to increase,” “get an advantage.”
So when Paul says, “To die is gain” it means, in death one is “getting an advantage, is acquiring something, or is taking possession of.” What does a person gain when he dies? What is he going to acquire, or to take possession of when he leaves this world? Let’s find the answer of these questions in the Bible. First of all, let’s not forget that Paul is writing as a Christian here. Thus he indicates that if a person has a right relationship with Jesus when they die they gain several blessings. Our Lord Jesus Himself has promised a multitude of blessings to those who believe in Him when they die. No - not money or fame or fortune – but blessings unimaginable. Let me mention three blessings that the believers gain when they die. It’s my hope that it will bring both comfort and enlightenment to us all amidst this trying time of Allan’s death.
1. A PERFECT LIFE
Earthly life is subject to different circumstances and conditions. We are subject to joys and disappointments. We are subject to the process of growing and aging. Sometimes we are healthy, sometimes we are sick. Sometimes we feel happy, sometimes we are despondent. Sometimes we feel pleasure, sometimes we feel pained. As times go by, we change from one condition to another. But in heaven, life is perfect. Rev.21: 4 says, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." In heaven life is hassle-free!
Look at the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke. When Lazarus died the angels carried him to the bosom of Abraham. Then in the story we find that Abraham said to the rich man: “Lazarus likewise bad things, but now he is comforted here.” “Comforted” means that Lazarus’ life there is free from any predicament. It’s totally free from problems, worries, hassles, etc.
This tells us that in death one leaves the imperfect life on earth to the perfect life in heaven. Now, don’t make the mistake to think that death ends everything. The Lord Jesus gives a very enlightening promise saying: “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me, though he dies, he will live. And he who lives and believes in Me will never die.” Death is not the end of your existence. In death, we are not leaving the world of the living to the world of death, but we leave the world of the dying to the world of the living.
2. A PERFECT HOME
Ours is a world of chaos and troubles, evils and destruction. That is so easy to see. Just read newspapers, listen to news on TV and Radios, and you will realize how evil is the world we live in. Someone wisely commented: “There world has no safe place for everyone.” Evil would befall on us at any time. This is a cruel world. But the place that God has prepared for us is the place of eternal bliss, a place of perfect peace. The beautiful side of death is that, it will transfer us from this evil world to a perfect home of true life and happiness.