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Death is a challenge. It is one of the most unpleasant aspects of life in this world. But Christians can have hope in the face of death. This is because Jesus has defeated death through his cross and resurrection.

Thinking rightly about death

As Christians, we should think rightly about death. Death is the enemy. It is not to be celebrated or embraced as somehow natural. Death is the result of sin. However, because of Jesus, Christians can have hope in the face of death. Jesus has defeated sin and death through his cross and resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?

What happens when we die

As a result, upon death Christians are immediately in the presence of Jesus.
Philippians 1:21-23 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.
2 Corinthians 5:8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
For Christians, after death comes paradise. The pain of sin, our physical infirmities, and human suffering are gone in an instant. We are filled with the joy of being with Christ.

What about grief?

This is why Christians do not grieve as people who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 5:13 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.
Instead of just having grief in the face of death, we have hope. Hope that those we love are with Jesus and we too will join them when we die. As humans, we still feel grief, but it is a grief that is tempered by hope in God.

Our ultimate destiny

What we experience immediately after we die is not the end of the story. The Bible also teaches us that at some point in the future, when Jesus returns, there will be a future resurrection of the dead. All people will experience resurrection (Rev. 20). As Christians, our resurrection will be very similar to the resurrection that Jesus experienced. We will have new physical bodies for eternity. For Christians, this resurrection will usher in the new era where we live in the New Heavens and New Earth (Rev. 21-22). In the New Heavens and New Earth, we will experience God’s creation as he intended it to be experienced. The results of the fall will be gone forever. God will dwell with his people and we will enjoy him forever.
Revelation 21:3-5 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!”

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Death is still a normal experience for human beings. So in what ways has Jesus conquered death?
  4. Look at Philippians 1:21-23. Why would the apostle Paul say that dying is better than living?
  5. Thinking about Revelation 21:3-5, what elements of life after death are most appealing to you?
  6. Knowing what happens after death, why shouldn’t Christians just commit suicide?
  7. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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