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Death is our birthday into eternity

By THE. REV. STEVE CONWELL

I like to minister to the bereaved (with the loss of a loved one) by defining the many words used in the Bible for death.  One word used by Peter in referring to his death is “…my putting off of…”  This phrase has a strong reference to mean “casting off” or “the ejection from.”  Death for a Christian is a release from this body that we leave behind. 

One illustration I like is that of a caterpillar.  It will enter the cocoon as a caterpillar but will exit as a beautiful butterfly to fly above this world. Our natural body has so many limitations and frailties.  Our death is a release to experience all that our Heavenly Father has in store for us.  It is to be set free from the prison of our decaying body. 

Rick Warren, in his excellent book “The Purpose Driven Life,” used the illustration of a baby’s nine months in the womb as a time of preparation for life.  During the birthing process the baby is pushed out from the womb into the world.  What if the baby decided not to be born?  He would miss out on so many opportunities of life:  growing up, high school, marriage, grandchildren and so much more. 

Death is a blessing to Christians in that we might receive a glorified body without limitations, suffering or separation.  Death will usher believers to our Father’s house to enjoy His presence for all eternity.  It is not a closed door where we leave everything behind but an open door to go to everything. 

Rick says, “This world is not our destination but the route to our destination.”  This life prepares us for not only where we will spend eternity but also how we will spend eternity.  Life is the warm-up before the game or the rehearsal before the concert.  Death is not the end of us, but the beginning of us, “death is our birthday into eternity.” 

We do not have to fear death because our Lord opened the way for us to pass through.  He will see to it that we are not alone; like Lazarus, angels carried him home.

STEVE CONWELL is pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in Farmville and is heard regularly on WFLO and WVHL with his “Thought for Today.” His email address is: SteveConwell@outlook.com.

(Area pastors interested in submitting devotionals for publication are asked to email us at marge.swayne@farmvilleherald.com.)