"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." -Revelation 21:4
A place where there is no more cancer, no more dying, no more need for morphine to kill pain, no more tears to wipe away, no more bullets killing innocent school children, no more fear of government take overs. Heaven will have no broken friendships, no more car thefts or junkies. Heaven won't have drunks or poor people. No more careers, no more need for money, no freezing temperatures. No enemies will be there, nor weapons needed to fight battles. Heaven doesn't sound real, but it is.
As most of you know, my Grandpa Duerkop passed away last week, Monday the 7th. The service that was held on Friday was not sad, though most of the people who came didn't have a dry eye before it was over. Our family did not even call it a "funeral" as Grandpa didn't die (1 Corinthians 15:54). Yes, he left his weakened body of dust behind, but now he's alive and well in Heaven (2 Cor. 5:8)! As Christians, we know we where we will go. As Christians who know other Christians who pass on before us, we can be reassured that we will one day be reunited in God's Kingdom. Though we feel that separation on this earth, we realize that our loved ones are in a better place. A place free from pain and anger and drought and storm.
One thing that my Mom wanted at the Memorial Service, was the salvation message. A perfect time to share with those who are not yet in Christ, the message of Jesus and to give them hope for their souls. My Grandpa was strong in his Savior and his faith was steadfast. He was also a man of few words. He could spin a good story for you about his adventurous farming days though. He'd tell stories about how he'd have to go out and chase the draft horses down so he could hitch them to the farm equipment. That's where his strong dislike for them came about.
As my cousin's wife told me at the service, "we don't get over the loss, but we can get through it." But I urge you to not forget the person. Don't make it a point to lose the good memories that you have with him or her. Remember the part they played in your life and feel grateful for having known them and loved them. Because as Alfred Lord Tennyson put it, "Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all". You may have lost a loved one or will in the future, and the verses below can be a comfort to you as you go through those times.
We see the dying convict who believed that Jesus was the Messiah, had the reassurance of being with Christ that day.....
"42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise."
Revelation 21 also provides us with comfort......
"1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."
Satan has not won the battle of a Christian's life. Sin is destroyed because of the power of Christ's blood on the cross......
1 Corinthians 15:54-58:
"54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
When we have passed from this earth....
2 Corinthians 5:8:
"We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."
No, I'm not happy that I've lost my "earthly" Grandpa. But I do have a Grandpa who's up in Heaven sitting at Jesus' feet. I have a Grandpa who's been reunited with two of his children, his mom and dad, his brothers, and all of the many other Christians who preceded him. He's not floating around somewhere in peragatory; he's up there in all of Heaven's glory!