Jill Jarrell Newsome
If I Should Die Before I Wake
I was with my paternal grandmother when she died and I remember thinking, at 19, I will never be afraid of death because it was so peaceful. I am very thankful for that experience. I remember seeing her face change. I really do not know how to put it in words except that I know when her soul left. Although her face looked the same, her body looked like a shell - I knew she was gone. There was great comfort in that.
If I should die before I wake…. Do you know the answer to this? We can ask people who have had a near death experience but none of them have died and stayed dead. So we have one option and that is to go to the Word of God. What happens after we die depends on what happens before we die. Hebrews 9: 27, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” We all have that same diagnosis. We are all going to die. No one is exempt from this.
I remember learning in Sunday school, as a child, that all children, who are not old enough to believe, go to Heaven. They are saved by grace - just like us. But what about adults? The Bible puts us into two categories - the saved and the lost. Believers and nonbeleivers. The “saved” are those who have chosen Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The “lost” have not made that decision.
One minute after a believer dies, angels usher their soul to heaven. Luke 16: 22, ““The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.” They go directly into the presence of God. Remember what Jesus told the thief on the cross in Luke 23: 43, “Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’” 2 Corinthians 5: 6-8, “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” When our loved one leaves that body, we can have hope and comfort that they are finally home with their heavenly Father. Not only is our loved one in God’s presence but they are worshiping with angels and believers! Revelation 7: 11, “All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God.”
Jesus told us He would take us home. 1 Thessalonians 4: 17, “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” He told us he was preparing a place for us. John 14: 2-3, “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.”
What if you are a non believer. And if you are not a believer, you are a nonbeliever. There is no middle ground. No lukewarm. Revelation 3: 16, “So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” The moment a nonbeliever dies the soul is sent to hell where it is in conscious torment. Mark 9: 43-48, “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’” Matthew 13: 42, “They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Non believers will reside in the lake of fire forever.
Obviously this is not a feel good blog because we all know someone who has not made their decision. We, as believers, have an awesome responsibility to further God’s Kingdom. If we should die before we wake, we will immediately begin experiencing God’s blessing or God’s judgment.