14th October 2017

Where Dead People Go…

“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 (NIV)

Where dead people go – sounds like a title for a 1950s horror movie, doesn’t it?

Day by day we are all getting older – as if you didn’t know – and every now and then someone remarks about what they should put on their gravestone. For example, Spike Milligan’s: “I told you I was ill’, or Steve Jobs: “being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me…”, and my own 21st century offering is: “I didn’t realise there was so much paper work.” I suspect you know of other quotes, too.

However, my favourite was given to me by a Year 2 pupil I taught many years ago. A young boy said to me in class one day: “Oh, Mr Harris I won’t be in school tomorrow.” “Why is that?” I enquired… (Wait for it – I’ve waited a long time to share this!) “I’m going to that place where dead people go to live,” he replied. Of course, he was referring to a funeral, but what a great expression – out of the mouths of babes!

I have reflected on this subject many times. It has scriptural credentials and somewhat ironically this came from a young Jewish boy. Yes, we are going to that place where dead people go to live. In fact, you might even say we are already there: “I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life…but has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24). The apostle Paul tells believers that “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Furthermore, for those not yet called there is a future hope because it is God’s will that no one should perish (2 Peter 3:9). It is also written that, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Likewise, Jesus’ words state: “a time is coming…when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live” (John 5:25).

We don’t yet know how this will come about, but we know Christ is our Redeemer and we can put our trust and faith in Him. Death brings loss, grief, suffering and pain. It is a real and fearful enemy, but it is one which will be vanquished as it says in 1 Corinthians 15:26, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”

There must be countless words written and spoken on the above subject, but sometimes a child’s innocent perspective captures the hope we have. It does for me. So, once more, when the time comes: “I’m going to that place where dead people go to live”. It’s a worthy epitaph.

Prayer
Our Father, we thank you for your wonderful saving grace and glorious redemption in and through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
Amen

Study by Kevin Harris

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About the Author:
Kevin Harris attends the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford,
Herts. WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone: 01923-855570
Email: george-sue.henderson@tesco.net

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