Our spirit lives on even after the death of our body.

The most understood fact in all of humanity is that life DOES NOT end at death. That is evident by the way a lot of people live. Common belief is party now and party hard, because you only live once; or life is hort so make the most of it. It's true that life in our physical body is short and everyone one of us will die but what the vast majority of human beings don't believe or understand is that in addition to our physical body we also have a spirit and our spirit lives on even after the death of our body.

We're not talking about ghosts or spooks, we talking about you. You have a spirit that will live on after your physical body has died. Where does my spirit go you ask. The answer is either into the presence of God or away from the presence of God.

To understand this better you have to understand that God created all things, the earth and man. See Genesis chapter 1. Why did God create man? The answer is because He wanted to have fellowship with man and so He created man in His own image. However rather than make man a puppet He created us with a wiil of our own. So we have the ability to go our own way or to seek the way God has for us. When our physical body dies however the realationship we have had with God will determine where our spirit goes.

Death does not end all, the soul lives on. And for the believer, the soul at death immediately enters forever into the presence of God.

Some false religionists teach otherwise. They refer to those who die as being "asleep," and by this they mean that their souls cease to exist until some time of future resurrection. But the term soul sleep, as used in this manner, is a misnomer-simply because a soul with no existence apart from the body could not be referred to as "sleeping." If it doesn't exist it's gone! This means that at some future time God would find it necessary to re-create the entire individual. The body would first have to be resurrected; then it would need to be given a new soul.

This is contrary to the teaching of God's Word. Death involves physical and spiritual separation not annihilation! Physical death occurs when the soul is separated from the body. Spiritual death is the eternal separation of the soul from God. Although the believer in Christ may die physically, having his soul separated from his body, he can never die spiritually. He will never experience the separation of his soul from God. This should be a special comfort to you. It means that your Christian loved ones who have died are not separated from the Lord and never will be. When they gave their hearts to Christ, they received life everlasting. Jesus said:

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (Jn. 5:24).

Those who have died in Christ have entered into the presence of God, and even
now they abide with Him in heaven. Jesus taught this truth in His words to Martha at the time of the resurrection of Lazarus. When Jesus arrived at Bethany, 4 days after Lazarus had died, Martha came out to meet Him and complained,
Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

Then Christ, assuring Martha that her brother would rise again, stated this beautiful, comforting truth: Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

We may learn two important lessons from these words of Christ. First, even though believers may die physically, as Lazarus did, their bodies will someday be resurrected. Remember, Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life." Second, through faith in Christ the child of God possesses eternal life. Therefore, in the deepest sense of the word, he will never die. That's why Jesus could give the glorious promise, "Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."

Yes, the body may perish, but the soul of the Christian lives on-never to be separated from God, the source of life. Those who teach that the soul of man ceases to exist at death deny a clear statement from the lips of our Lord Himself. Remember that Jesus said, "Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."

When the believer dies, he departs from this life to go immediately into the presence of Christ. At the moment physical life is ended, therefore, the Christian meets Jesus face to face in his eternal home in heaven. The words of the Lord Jesus at Calvary emphasize this truth. As Christ hung on the cross, one of the dying thieves expressed faith in Him, crying out, Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom Luke. 23:42).

The Lord Jesus gave His word that they would meet again, and not way off in the far distant future. He promised,
"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (v.43).

The apostle Paul viewed the period between death and resurrection as a time of joy, blessing, and fellowship in the presence of Christ. He told the believers in Philippi:
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
(Phil. 1.2123).

It's plain to see that the apostle fully expected to be with the Lord the very moment he departed from this life. Because of this he could say, "To die is gain" and "to depart and be with Christ ... is far better." In 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, he expressed again his sincere conviction that the day he would leave this body, he would join his Savior in heaven:

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

To give proper emphasis to the tenses used in the Greek, this last verse should read, "We are confident, I say, and willing, rather to be once-for-all away from home as far as the body is concerned, and to be once forall at home with the Lord.

Paul was not speaking here about the resurrection of the body. That will occur when the trumpet sounds for the rapture of the church. Rather, he spoke of what happens to the soul immediately following death. When a Christian dies, his soul is ushered into Christ's presence in heaven. Death for the believer brings about an immediate, once-for-all change-from being in our body on earth to being with our Lord in our eternal home. This is the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer of John 17, spoken shortly before His crucifixion

"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. (v.24).

For the believer, this prayer finds fulfillment at death. He enters heaven and begins to experience all the wonderful blessings of' being with the Lord


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