Death will become an unfortunate reality for every person on the planet at one point or another in their lives.
While the loss of a loved one is certainly one of the most painful experiences a person can go through, in the Christian faith, death represents a transition rather than a conclusion.
The Bible explains and considers death in ways that can offer real comfort to those of you who may be struggling with the painful realities of death and dying.
What does the Christian faith have to say about when death confronts us, what happens in the afterlife, and the best ways to comfort the bereaved?
We’re returning to the scripture for answers to these important questions.
The Christian perspective on death is undoubtedly one of the most attractive features of the faith.
Among the many Christian denominations, a common thread regarding the perspective of death is that we‘ll all undergo divine judgment upon dying.
We’ll face God after our death and be rewarded or punished with an eternity in either heaven or hell, according to our thoughts and actions on earth.
Those who lived according to the Ten Commandments given by God and the more general principles of Christianity that include compassion, forgiveness, and community will be rewarded with eternal life in heaven.
Those who lived a life of sin will be punished with an eternity in hell.
The Catholic denomination maintains that those who die without sin (but still with the inherent sin of collective humanity) will be purified in an ‘in-between’ state known as purgatory, which allows them to appear before God.
The Christian perspective on death is an uplifting one. Life, as Christians see it, is a gift from God. And to die is to get closer to God, so long as you’ve lived your life according to the values in the Bible.
As said in Philippians 1:21, “To die is gain.”
To further ease the pain of experiencing the death of a loved one in your life, let’s look at the most poignant and powerful verses on death and dying in the Bible.
“We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”
In this Corinthians passage, the apostle Paul explains what happens to us at the moment of death with beautiful prose and metaphors.
He reminds us that our earthly bodies, which are unshakeably perishable, will transform. Our spirit will rise, and God will render us ‘imperishable,’ ready to determine our judgment.
“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Has your loved one led a good life, abundant with God’s love throughout their journey on this earth?
Then, as Psalm 23 reminds us, love will surely stay with them as they cross into the heavenly realm. Losing our waking lives isn’t a pleasant thought. Dwelling in the house of the Lord, however, is something we can all strive toward and take comfort in.
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”
Jesus said these words comforting a pair of sisters who had just lost their brother, Lazarus.
What do they mean? It seems that Jesus is trying to tell the sisters how to live a life eternal despite their ‘physical’ death. Those who maintain a steadfast belief in Jesus Christ as the true son of God throughout their lives will be granted the gift of life after death.
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that 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.”
For those of you who have spent any time wondering if you are worthy of the kingdom of heaven, you need only to read the first line of John 14, spoken by the son of God.
He reminds us that there are ‘many rooms’ in his Father’s house, which speaks to the universality of eternal life. Everyone has a chance at experiencing heaven if they come to know God and the Lord Jesus Christ in their earthly lives.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
The often-repeated Beatitudes in Matthew 5 offer comfort to the dead and the living who mourn them.
Mourning is a deeply religious, spiritual, and philosophical experience. As described here, those who mourn are in blessed communion with God and will find comfort in him.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
You may fear after losing a family member or loved one that you simply can’t go on with life without them. It’s understandable, but consider this passage from Isaiah.
In death and all other aspects of life, God is with us. He gives us direction when we seek it and upholds us when we are righteous. In death, God will provide the strength you need to go on. All is not lost with the Almighty by our side.
For more heartwarming passages about life, death, and the afterlife, explore the following scriptures:
Death and dying, especially when you lose a family member or loved one, is difficult no matter the strength of your faith.
But thankfully, Christianity offers the comfort of eternal life to those who have lived their waking days with worship and piety for the Lord God.
When you are inevitably faced with the reality of death, turn to these Bible verses to soothe your spiritual woes in times of trouble.