Twice in the past week a person armed himself with guns and took the lives of innocent individuals, one in a shopping mall and the other at an elementary school. We struggle to understand why these things happen. In the wake of these events calls have gone out anew for stricter gun laws. Others challenge us to look at how our entertainment culture, through movies, television shows, novels, and video games seems so obsessed with murder.
Death is a persistent reality. Hank Hanegraaff, the “Bible Answer Man,” frequently reminds his listeners that there is a one-to-one ratio between the birth rate and the death rate that will not change until Jesus returns. Paul , in 1 Corinthians, proclaims that Jesus will reign in Heaven until He destroys all His enemies, the last enemy being death:
Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
(1 Corinthians 15:24-26, ESV)
So, as terrible and painful as death is when it comes to us in it’s various forms, it will not go away until Jesus returns to usher in a new reality, a new Heaven and a new Earth where things will be very different. The Apostle John shares a glimpse of what this new world under the reign of Jesus will be like:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
(Revelation 21:4 ESV)
No more tears, death, mourning, crying or pain! Can you imagine? We are encouraged to endure in this life with an eye toward the life to come. Suffering and death are a reality now, but someday they will be a distant memory…if we will even be able to remember it at all.
If you consider death and suffering to be enemies, then be sure you place your faith in the one who says:
“It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”
(Revelation 21:6-7 ESV)
Jesus has conquered death, and one day he will destroy death for good. What a day that will be!