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There is victory and hope for those who have died in Christ.

However, I know many believers have come to expect unbearable, emotional pain when they lose a loved one, just like that experienced by anybody else. God, however, says that when Christians die, they are asleep. When somebody is asleep, two great things are implied:

1) He is going to wake up, and
2) He should wake up rested

Sleep is designed to allow the body a chance to recuperate and to re-energize. We ought to think of death this same way.

Over the years, since finding out how to walk by faith, I have had to deal with my own thinking about death. Since I discovered what death really is all about, when I have to preach a funeral, or even attend one, I experience almost a sense of guilt because I don't feel like weeping all over the place or falling all to pieces.

It's not that I am not thinking about the person I will never see again on this side of what we call life, but because I know that death is not the end. I feel almost guilty when I see some people at funerals who are all torn up, and I'm not. If you don't know what God's Word has to say about the subject, death can be an awesome, terrible situation to face.

I Can Relate
I remember when my little boy was killed many years ago by an automobile, I went through all kinds of devastating emotions. I cried so, until I thought my heart was going to break. In fact, for quite a long time after his death, I could not even talk about my son, because it hurt too much to do so. Now, because I know what the Bible says, I can talk about this painful time in my life and Betty's.

At the time of my son's death, the churches I had attended had not told me what the Bible says about Christian death. Consequently, it was unbearable for me to even think about my son being dead. I don't get all torn up inside anymore when I think about the believers who have passed on, because I know they're not dead!

They are "asleep," as the Word describes it, and the alarm clock is set. One of these days, it's going to ring, and when it does, the sleepers are going to arise! Praise God!

The Bible says that God is the God of the living because there is no death in Him, in terms of a person ceasing to exist. There is no such thing as people ceasing to exist. They are simply "put on hold" for a while.

For example, when I put on my clothes, they become alive with my movements—my suit, my shoes, my socks, my tie—all move with my movements. In other words, they are alive with my movements. But when I take off my clothes and place them on a hanger in my closet, they are no longer alive with movement; they just hang there—no life in them at all.

What has happened is that the life that was causing the movement in the suit, the shoes, the socks, the tie, was not in the clothes, but in the one wearing them.

Well, the one wearing our physical clothes (our bodies) is the spirit man on the inside. He wears the physical body as a suit of clothes in this three-dimensional world. So when you and I enter into that state of what we call death, all he (the spirit man) does is hang up the clothes (the physical body) in the closet (the grave or whatever place has become the temporary resting place).

That suit that is hanging on the rack in the closet is sleeping, it is resting; it has not ceased to exist. My suit will come alive again. One day, it is going to become alive once more. One day, I'm going into the closet and take this suit out and wear it.

It will be alive again - it will be moving again. People will look down the street and say: "Look at that! There goes Fred Price's gray suit. Look at it! Wow! Look at that suit move!" They will say that because I will be in it!

The Christian's suit (his body) will come alive again, because the spirit will once again wear it.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:13, we see that the Word says, "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others, which have no hope."

The "others" spoken of here are non-Christians; they have no hope. For them - the non-believers - death is an end. For the non-Christian, yes, death is traumatic; it is an agony. I have known of cases where some loved one has died, and the grieving person did not have hope because he or she did not know what we know from the Word of God.

I have seen people literally die themselves in a very short period of time after the loss of a loved one. They could not deal with that person's death. It was too traumatic for them. That happened because they had no hope.

However, Believers do have hope, praise God! We know that the Bible says that God is the God of the living because there is no death in Him.

But remember, God would not have us be ignorant concerning this issue. If God does not want us, His children, to be ignorant, then the opposite of that would be that He wants us to be informed. Therefore, if we are ignorant, it's our fault - not God's. He wants us to have knowledge about the things that affect us spiritually; that's why He gave us the Bible.

That is why we can have hope in the face of death.

Source: Victory and Hope for the Dead in Christ
by Frederick K.C. Price
Excerpt permission granted by Faith One Publishing

Author Biography

Frederick K.C. Price
Web site: Ever Increasing Faith Ministries
Dr. Frederick K. C. Price received an honorary diploma from the Rhema Bible Training Center in 1976 and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity Degree from Oral Roberts University in 1982; both institutions are based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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