Realities of Death and Eternal Life
First, on the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses, who died and was buried, appeared on the mount over 3000 years later talking with the Lord Jesus. “And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John His brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him.” Matt.17:1-3. “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.” Deut. 34:5-6. Second, while on the cross the Lord Jesus told a thief, who was dying, that he would be with Him in paradise. In other words, some part of the thief would still be conscious after death and that part of him would be with the Lord Jesus in paradise. The Bible calls that part the soul. “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt. 10:28. Also, the Lord Jesus died not to save Peter, James, John, Paul and the other apostles from the grave, but from the hell to be avoided AFTER death.
Because death is unavoidable, the consequences of leaving this life unprepared must be considered NOW. Death can arrive at any time and quite often cannot be postponed, but eventually, however, it takes us under, or the undertaker takes over. “And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Heb. 9:27.
What can one do to be prepared? God the Creator has provided ONE WAY of preparation, through the Lord Jesus Christ. John 11:26 states that anyone who receives the Lord Jesus as Saviour has eternal life, shall never die, but fall asleep in the Lord Jesus Christ. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:12, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:12, “These things said He: and after that He saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.” John 11:11, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:51.
The Lord Jesus has also shown us on the Mount of Transfiguration a miniature of what will happen when HE returns. “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Thess. 4:16-17. Moses was representing those who died and Elijah those who will be alive when HE appears glorified in the clouds. Many shall be taken up by angels to meet ‘The Lord in the air’. These days are similar to those of Noah when he told the people rain would fall. Rain had never fallen before the flood. “And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” Genesis 2:5,6.
Can you imagine how they laughed at Noah during those very many years, some say forty years, while the ark was being built! Their unbelief did not prevent the flood from coming.
Now again, we say and emphasize, the scripture cannot be broken. “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken.” John 10:35. Hundreds of thousands of people shall be taken up from the earth when the trump of God sounds. “And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matt. 24:31, “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” Luke 17:34,36, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:52. This has never happened before, but will certainly occur, because the Scriptures will be fulfilled. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but MY WORDS shall not pass away.” Matt. 24:35.
What can one do to be ready? Repent of your sins and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:12. Give the Lord Jesus a central position in the activities of your life. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16, “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4. Attending a church where this doctrine is emphasized, and engage in some area of christian work.