The Best Departure of All!


The Bible describes death as a “departure.” But where does the departure take us?

Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.  (2 Corinthians 5:1)

There’s nothing like an exciting departure; like when you’ve just checked in at the airport for a flight to somewhere new. But the Bible promises that, for those who trust in Christ, there is a departure far more exciting than that: it is the departure that takes us from this life and into the next!

Of course, many people these days are skeptical about an afterlife. “When you’re dead, you’re dead” is the most common attitude. “Wrong!” the Bible says. When you die, you go somewhere, as surely as when entering that airport departure lounge. In fact, the Bible describes death as a “departure.” When Moses and Elijah appeared at Jesus’ transfiguration “they spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:31); Paul said, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Philippians 1:23). Both were looking forward to their “departure,” to leaving this life and going to somewhere better. But where does the departure take us?

When we die the “soul” (that which makes you “you”) and the “spirit” (that which relates to God) separate from the body (which is why onlookers often say, “He’s gone!”). The body, which we no longer need, now begins to decay. But for Christians, the Bible promises that this is not the end of the story! For as we slip away from our body and this life, we immediately pass into heaven – and what a wonderful place it is! The Bible describes heaven in many ways: a place of seeing God, serving God, and receiving God’s reward; a place of joy, rest, and freedom from all troubles; a place of real fellowship, with Jesus at the center of everything. But even this is not the end! Heaven itself is but a glorious waiting room for the next departure – God’s creation at the End of his “new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1).

Be encouraged today about the sure promise of this departure and its destination; and look to share its good news with someone else.

with Christ, which is better by far” (Philippians 1:23)

Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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