Death, Heaven

Writer: 
Pasi Palmu
Translator: 
Kristian Römer

Man has been created for the eternity. Breaking God’s will meant death, and that reality has bitten us all. However, death does not triumph in the end; God will.

In death our time of mercy comes to an end. In this created world we can live by the gifts of God, even though we would not care about Him at all. What happens, however, when we lose our money, beauty, position, health, and life? What happens when we encounter God naked in our sins, Him who has given us life and who asks us how we used it? We do not have to be naked at that point. The Bible teaches that in faith we wear an infinitely pure garment, the righteousness of Christ. In baptism, it is given. In faith, it is owned.

What about time after death? Are the dead in a soul sleep before the resurrection of the final day? The Bible gives this idea that in death man goes to another reality. It is not crucial to know the length of this period, but whether this waiting period is a time of happiness or a time of misery. When the conscience is good and one knows, who is waiting, it is good to wait.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, ESV)

Writer: 
Pasi Palmu
Translator: 
Kristian Römer

From Jesus. It is completely natural that we fear death. Death and its companions—diseases, accidents, calamities—are simply evil, and they do not belong to God’s creation. Death for sure is not natural and you shouldn’t try to befriend him. Paul says that death is the final enemy. But Jesus’ work is the strongest evidence that death and its companions will not prevail.

Jesus has defeated death, and as his child you too will emerge through death as a victor. Take heed to yourself. Make sure you belong to Christ; he will beat your death thoroughly! Even if you are still afraid, do like a scared child would do: run to your Father. He controls the situation, even though the night was long and dark. Emotions fail often, but a faith that trusts in the Word of God will not fail.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
(John 11:25-26, ESV)

God, death still scares me. Will you be with me?
Writer: 
Pasi Palmu
Translator: 
Kristian Römer

Death is not the end of all. “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” (Rev. 20:11-12 [ESV])

It would be most wonderful to see them in the heaven. I think a good advice is to be trusting concerning others and doubting concerning self. Leave your dead relatives to God’s care, and pray for them once or twice. You yourself should trust in the Victor of Death. You can also console yourself that to God nobody is dead. To Him everyone is alive, because He is not bound in the laws of this universe.

Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
(Revelation 1:17d-18, ESV)

God, I leave my dead loved ones to your good hands.
Writer: 
Pasi Palmu
Translator: 
Kristian Römer

Yes there is. The Old Testament speaks sparsely about the state after death, but around the time of New Testament sheds light even on this dark reality. Jesus says that hell was not created for human beings originally but for Satan and his angels. It is described as an eternal fire, lake of fire, darkness, separation, weeping and gnashing of teeth. When we cannot say how literally we have to understand the depictions of hell, we can be content with this definition: hell is an eternal separation from God and His goodness. A Christian should not be interested in hell but rather how to avoid it. And we have to remember that Jesus did not come to this world to scare us with hell but to redeem us for heaven. You too!

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
(Matthew 25:41, ESV)

Jesus, I do not want to go to hell. Save me!
Writer: 
Pasi Palmu
Translator: 
Kristian Römer

The Bible does not give any geographical location to heaven. The heaven is where God resides in his absolute perfection. The Bible says “who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen." (1 Timothy 6:16, ESV)”.
We then will not reach God nor heaven through any space exploration programs nor through our minds.

He himself has stepped out from his hidden magnificence and revealed to us, what we need to know about heaven. The Bible—especially the Revelation—has many depictions concerning heaven. These depictions cannot be fitted into one nice picture. How would a cube-like city full of golden streets look like? Or how would a never-ending, always renewing, hallowed worship look like? What about a garden, whose beauty is such that nothing compares to it? What is it that God Himself dries our tears? The old teachers of the Church have spoken of heaven as "God's blissful viewing '. - At least for me this is already enough reasons to want to get to see it all!

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
(Revelation 21:3, ESV)

God, I want to go to heaven. Take me there!