Here are some Scriptures that give us comfort when contemplating our mortality:
Ecc 12:6-7 NKJV Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, Or the golden bowl is broken, Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, Or the wheel broken at the well. (7) Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
The silver cord and golden bowl represent the preciousness of life; their being loosed and broken represent our death. The pitcher at the fountain and the wheel at the well (used to draw up the bucket of water), both indicate the daily routines of live; their being shattered and broken again represent our death.
In Genesis 18:27 NKJV, Abraham tells God that he is nothing but dust and ashes. The dust represents our human bodies, which return to dust in the grave. When our bodies die, our living spirit goes directly to God. Believers in Christ go on to Heaven (which is also known as the Abraham’s bosom—Luk 16:22 NKJV, and Paradise-Luk 23:43 NKJV), while unbelievers go to hell. See the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31 NKJV.
Psa 17:13-15 NKJV Arise, O LORD, Confront him, cast him down; Deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword, (14) With Your hand from men, O LORD, From men of the world who have their portion in this life, And whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure. They are satisfied with children, And leave the rest of their possession for their babes. (15) As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.
In these verses David is praying for God to deliver or save him from the wicked men of the world. Men that have everything they want and who do not need God. Their bellies are full, they seek earthy treasures that God created, and have them in abundance. They hide those treasures they have obtained in safe places so that men will not know of them. They are fully satisfied with their children and what they will leave to those children when they die, and believe they do not need a Savior.
On the other hand, David says that on the day he closes his eyes in death, he will awake in the presence of God, his Savior and will see His face and he will be satisfied. If we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, when we close our eyes in death, we also will awake to see our Savior’s face and we will be fully and totally satisfied and the things we left in this world will no longer matter.
Isa 25:6-9 NKJV And in this mountain The LORD of hosts will make for all people A feast of choice pieces, A feast of wines on the lees, Of fat things full of marrow, Of well-refined wines on the lees. (7) And He will destroy on this mountain The surface of the covering cast over all people, And the veil that is spread over all nations. (8) He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken. (9) And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”
This Mountain is Mount Zion, which is God’s chosen dwelling place for eternity (Psalm 132:13-14 NKJV). Since that is God’s dwelling place in eternity, Mount Zion in this context may refer to heaven, which is the new Jerusalem, or the new earth, or to an actual city.
The covering in verse 7, refers to the physical death of the human body. In verse 8, we are reminded that these promises apply only to His people, that is, only those Jews and Gentiles that believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, as Savior; all others are cursed and will not be present at this gathering in eternity. In that day, which is the day we die, we will have eternal life and we will rejoice in the salvation He has provided for us.
Job 19:25-27 NKJV For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; (26) And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, (27) Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
When Job was under persecution form Satan, he uttered these words. He had faith that his Redeemer is alive and that when his skin, meaning his body, is destroyed in death, he will see God. Job believed in his Redeemer, which we understand from the New Testament is God the Son, who is Jesus. Job knew that at his death he would see Him face to face. At our death we will see Him face to face as well.
Luk 23:33; 39-43 NKJV And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. (39) Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” (40) But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? (41) And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” (42) Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” (43) And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Jesus was crucified between two criminals. One mocked Him, the other did not and asked Jesus to remember him when He, Jesus, went to Heaven (His kingdom). That criminal believed in Jesus and confessed that belief by his request. Jesus told him that he, the criminal, because of his belief, would be in paradise with Him. Paradise is heaven, which we can see from 2 Cor 12:4 NKJV; Rev 2:7 NKJV; Rev 22:3 NKJV; Rev 22:14 NKJV. The criminal, forgiven of his sins because of his belief, would be with Jesus in Heaven that very day at the moment of his death. When we die as believers in Christ, we will immediately be with Him in heaven.
1 John 3:2-3 NKJV Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (3) And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
When we die, He will be revealed to us and we will see Jesus as He is in His glory, and we will be like Him. In other words we will have eternal bodies that will not perish.
1Co 13:9-12 NKJV For we know in part and we prophesy in part. (10) But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. (11) When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (12) For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
Now we only know the things of Heaven from what we read in the Scriptures. Perfection will come for most of us when we die and awake in Heaven. For a few, perfection will come at the return of Jesus during the rapture. For the vast majority of us, when we die, we will know fully and we will see Him face to face. The few that do not die will know fully and will see Him face to face at the rapture.
1Co 15:51-55 NKJV Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — (52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (55) “O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?”
This is a picture of the Rapture, When Jesus returns to rapture His church, all believers in Christ who are alive at that time will be instantly changed from our corruptible, mortal flesh bodies will be changed into immortal, incorruptible and eternal bodies. With those new bodies, we will never see death.
1Th 4:13-18 NKJV But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. (15) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. (16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (18) Therefore comfort one another with these words.
This the description of the actual rapture when Jesus returns.
Rev 14:14-16 NKJV Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. (15) And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” (16) So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
This is the rapture from John’s perspective while in heaven. Jesus appears to be sitting on a cloud and reaps the harvest. The harvest is those saved by the blood of Christ (Mat 13:30 NKJV; Mat 13:39 NKJV). For more information, read Revelation Chapter 19.
The consensus of all these verses is, when we close our eyes in death we will immediately open them again in the presence of Jesus, God the Son in His Heaven, and we will see Him face to face. What will heaven be like? We can see that in the following verses.
1Co 2:9-10 NKJV But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (10) But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
Rev 2:7 NKJV “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”
Rev 22:1-5 NKJV And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. (2) In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (3) And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. (4) They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. (5) There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
Face to face with Christ, my Savior,
Face to face—what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ who died for me?
Only faintly now I see Him,
With the darkened veil between,
But a blessed day is coming,
When His glory shall be seen.
What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
Death is swallowed up in vict’ry,
And the dark things shall be plain.
Face to face—oh, blissful moment!
Face to face—to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ who loves me so.
Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!
—Carrie E. Beck, 1898
Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior? He is going to return to the world soon. Are you ready? When He does if you do not know Him as your Savior, you will join all those who do not know Him in “Outer Darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Mat 22:13-14).
Mark S. Oaks, 4/16/2020