In a recent issue of his newsletter, Pastor Rick Ezell said: Job asked: “When a man dies, will he come back to life?” (Job 14:14). In other words, is death the last hurrah? The final act? The end of the game? The period on life’s statement?

A fascination always has existed with life after death. The ancient Egyptians placed precious items in the tombs of their deceased loved ones, hoping these items would be useful in the afterlife. The American Indians believed in a happy hunting ground. Eastern religion teaches reincarnation. Isaiah reminds us that believers will live again, rising from the ashes.

Death is transformed from a monster to a minister. What at first seems to box us in frees us to go to God. Death often is referred to as a departure when actually for believers, it is an arrival. Death is the doorway by which we can leave the limitations and pains of this existence and enter the heavenly realm. Only death can give us the gift of eternity.

Aristides, a first-century Greek, marveled at the extraordinary practice for Christians who died, “If any righteous man among the Christians passes from this world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God, and they escort his body with songs and thanksgiving as if he were setting out from one place to another nearby.”

In the meantime, preparations are needed for the trip. Because life exists after death, the choice you make in this world determines your final place of residence in the next life. Only those prepared to die are really prepared to live. The uncertainty is not in the dying but the preparation. What happens after you die depends on what happens before you die. The only time to prepare for then is now.

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