What can you say to someone who’s about to pass from this life to the next? And what can you say to those who love them?
For me, perhaps the greatest words on the subject were spoken by Jesus Christ to His disciples in the days leading up to His own death and resurrection. Here’s the essence of what He said to them―and what I believe God would want to say to you―as recorded in the Bible in the book of John, chapter 14:
1) God is real
2) Heaven is real
3) Jesus is the way
4) Don’t be afraid
Even if you already believe these things, I think they’re good reminders for all of us―especially when facing the very real possibility of entering heaven yourself.
Jesus started out by reminding His disciples that God is real:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me” (John 14:1).
It was like Jesus was saying to them, “I know this is going to be a hard time for you. But don’t be troubled by it. You can trust in God. He alive, He’s real, and He really cares about you and everything that’s going on in your life. Trust in Him, and trust in Me, too.”
Trusting in God is the essence of faith and it pleases Him immensely when we do. In fact, without faith, it’s impossible to please God. As the book of Hebrews says:
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
God is real and He wants you to trust in Him―to believe that He exists―and to believe that He will reward you when you earnestly seek Him.
Jesus went on to tell His disciples that heaven is real, too:
“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3).
Throughout Jesus’ whole life and ministry, He preached about the reality of heaven. Even when others tried to challenge Him by saying that there is no resurrection of the dead, Jesus said:
“You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).
Heaven is real and it must be a really incredible place, too. If God created the whole world in six days, imagine what heaven must be like: Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us―and He’s been working on it for over 2,000 years!
Even though God hasn’t told us everything that awaits us in heaven, He has told us what won’t be there―and that alone is worth it! There won’t be any more death or mourning or crying or pain. There won’t be any more night, for God Himself will be our light (see Revelation 21:4, 23-25 and 22:5).
Just as God is real, heaven is real, too.
The third thing that Jesus wanted His disciples to know was how to get to heaven. He didn’t want them―or any of us―to miss it. Jesus said:
“You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:4-6).
It was like Jesus was saying, “If you believe in Me, put your faith in Me, and keep on following Me, then you’ll eventually end up in the same place that I’m going―and that’s heaven! I am the way!”
Jesus wants you to keep putting your faith in Him for everything in your life, including your eternal life. That’s why He came to earth: to give you an abundant life here on earth as well as in heaven forever by dying on the cross for your sins. When you put your faith in Him, He will forgive you of your sins and give you eternal life―starting right now! As Jesus said:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
God is real, heaven is real, and Jesus is the way.
The fourth point that Jesus shared with them was this: Don’t be afraid. Jesus said:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27b).
I’m sure Jesus said this because He knew that they were very likely to be afraid. He knew that the possibility of facing life without Him might be even harder than facing their own deaths.
But if the first three points that Jesus made were true―that God is real, heaven is real, and He is the way―then this last point is certainly true as well: you don’t have to be afraid.
God loves you very much. He always has and He always will. He cares about you today just as much as the day that you were born―and every day in between. He cares about your every thought, your every feeling, and your every emotion―every detail of your life.
If you’ve trusted God this far with your life, then you can trust Him with your life in heaven, too. Don’t let your heart be troubled and don’t be afraid.
Jesus spoke each of these words to comfort to His disciples and I pray that they bring comfort to you as well. Remember…
1) God is real
2) Heaven is real
3) Jesus is the way
4) Don’t be afraid
Will you pray with me?
Father, thank You for reminding us that You are real, heaven is real, Jesus is the way, and we don’t have to be afraid. Help us to remember these truths, not only as we face our life in eternity, but also as we face the rest of our days here on earth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The quotes on the following pages were drawn from the Bible and from Christians throughout the ages with the hope that they will encourage you in your faith and bring you peace.
For we know that when this tent we live in now is taken down―when we die and leave these bodies―we will have wonderful new bodies in heaven, homes that will be ours forevermore, made for us by God Himself, and not by human hands.
2 Corinthians 5:1, The Living Bible
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.
I try not to worry about life too much because I read the last page of THE book and it all turns out all right.
Death is not death if it kills no part of us, save that which hindered us from perfect life.
Death is not death if it raises us in a moment from darkness into light, from weakness into strength, from sinfulness into holiness.
Death is not death if it brings us nearer to Christ, who is the fount of life.
Death is not death if it perfects our faith by sight and lets us behold Him in whom we have believed.
Death is not death if it gives us to those whom we have loved and lost, for whom we have lived, for whom we long to live again.
Death is not death if it rids us of doubt and fear, of chance and change, of space and time, and all which space and time bring forth and then destroy.
Death is not death, for Christ has conquered Death for Himself and for those who trust in Him.
Is death the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.
If you love the good that you see in another, you make it your own.
Gregory The Great
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.”
John 14:1-3, New International Version
All this and heaven too.
Every tear from every eye becomes a babe in eternity.
This world is the land of the dying; the next is the land of the living.
We are pilgrims, not settlers; this earth is our inn, not our home.
J. H. Vincent
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
1 Corinthians 12:19, New International Version
Our little time of suffering is not worthy of our first night’s welcome home to Heaven.
Where there is sorrow, there is holy ground.
He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved―you and your household.”
Acts 16:30-31, New International Version
If we knew as much about heaven as God does, we would clap our hands every time a Christian dies.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4, New International Version
The best is perhaps what we understand the least.
C. S. Lewis
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him!
John 11:33-36, King James Version
Jesus wept once; possibly more than once. There are times when God asks nothing of His children except silence, patience, and tears.
It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death.
God is here. Wherever we are, God is here. There is no place, there can be no place, where He is not.
A. W. Tozer
Old age is a blessed time. It gives us leisure to put off our earthly garments one by one and dress ourselves for heaven.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:25-26, New King James Version
The wheels of death’s chariot may rattle and make a noise, but they are to carry a believer to Christ.
I heard a loud shout from the throne saying, “Look, the home of God is now among men, and He will live with them and they will be His people; yes, God himself will be among them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, no sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that has gone forever.”
Revelation 21:3-4, The Living Bible
A story is told about two children who were talking about the death of their mother. The little girl asked her brother how their mother “went to God.” “Well,” said the boy, “it happened this way. First mother reached up as far as she could. Then God reached down. When their hands touched He took her.”
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:9, New International Version
Mourning from Earth’s point of view.
Morning from Heaven’s point of view.
Of stepping on shore and finding it Heaven;
Of taking hold of a hand and finding it God’s hand;
Of breathing a new air and finding it celestial air;
Of feeling invigorated and finding it immortality;
Of passing from storm and tempest to an unbroken calm;
Of waking up, and finding it Home!
Robert E. Selle
It is not darkness you are going to, for God is Light. It is not lonely, for Christ is with you. It is not unknown country, for Christ is there.
In the dark immensity of night
I stood upon a hill and watched the light
Of a star,
Soundless and beautiful and far.
A scientist standing there with me
Said, “It is not the star you see,
But a glow
That left the star light years ago.”
Men are like stars in a timeless sky:
The light of a good man’s life shines high,
Golden and splendid
Long after his brief earth years are ended.
Grace V. Watkins
Death for the Christian is a turning off the light because the dawn has come.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance…
Ecclesiastes 3, King James Version
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:27, New International Version
The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Psalm 23, New International Version
Loving Thoughts contains a collection of quotations from This Day’s Thought, a Christian Internet ministry whose mission is to share a daily message offering encouragement and inspiration. To sign up to receive our inspirational quotes, please visit: www.thisdaysthought.org
Loving Thoughts Copyright © 2011 Greg Potzer & Eric Elder. All rights reserved. Copyrights for individual quotations are held by their respective authors and publishers and are included in this compilation for nonprofit educational purposes.
Loving Thoughts is one of several inspirational resources produced by Eric Elder Ministries. For a boost in your faith anytime, please visit: www.theranch.org
Bible verses have been taken from:
The Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
The Holy Bible, King James Version. Originally written in 1611 and revised in 1769. Public domain.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
The Living Bible. Copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.