We know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
—2 Corinthians 5:1
In one of our church’s confessions the question is asked, “Since Christ has died for us, why do we still have to die?” Christians have been asking this for centuries. If the Lord Jesus has overcome death, why do we still have to face it? The same confession answers: “Our death does not pay the debt of our sins. Rather, it puts an end to our sinning and is our entrance into eternal life.”
Simply put, death for the Christian is a stepping stone into eternal life. The apostle Paul gives a similar answer when he writes, “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed.” And “we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven.” Our last enemy becomes God’s way of taking us to live with him. Physical death (and someday our own resurrection) has become God’s way of setting us free from all the limitations of life here on earth. Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden so that they would not eat from the tree of life and “live forever” (Genesis 3:22-23). God protected them from forever living here with all the suffering caused by sin.
The troubles we face in this world, especially hardships we may encounter for sharing the good news of Christ, will be far outweighed by the eternal glory of being remade and living with God forever.
Father in heaven, thank you for the eternal promise to set us free from all the effects of sin here on earth. In Jesus, Amen.
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