But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Today I have been reminded of just how sad humanist funerals are. These non-Christian services celebrate the life lived by the deceased and are a chance to say farewell; a form of grief management based on fleeting memories, which through time fade. There is usually mention of an easy rest for the departed, a type of heaven maybe.
In contrast, I am reminded of my grandparents on my mother’s side who were believers in Jesus. Both of their funerals were a mixture of sadness at our loss but joy at the departed souls new abode in Heaven. They lived their lives in service of God, believing every word of His Holy Scriptures such as is shared above. In their latter years grandad and grandmother looked forward to their “Promotion to Glory” in hope; bading each other goodnight at bedtime with the line “I will see you in the morning!” Either they would see each other in the next day light or by the glorious light of the Lord’s presence. What a beautiful assurance they lived their earthly lives by, and are realising now in Heaven’s glory.
Dear reader, are you living in the assurance of knowing Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, that someday you will meet Him face to face? A day will come (soon) when He will return from Heaven, to reclaim the bodies of those believers in their graves. Often as I visit my grandparent’s grave I look over the Benarty Hill and imagine their rapture as their Lord reclaims them in the air above the village. What a glorious day that will be!