We are confident, yes well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
Paul tells us here quite plainly that to be absent from our earthly bodies means to be PRESENT with the Lord. This tells me that when I die, I will immediately be in the presence of my Lord. There is no "soul sleep" awaiting the final resurrection, or a "waiting place" such as purgatory where I will go to await the day when I will forever be with Him. We can rejoice in the fact that there is no time in our lives as a believer when we will ever be out of the conscious presence of Jesus Christ.
I have given quite a bit of thought recently to this biblical fact as a young woman who went to school with my daughter was killed in a car accident a couple of weeks ago. She was only 22 years old. Just graduated from college and would have celebrated her first wedding anniversary in Oct. Her whole life laid before her with so many possibilites and hopes and dreams yet lived. And this morning, in skanning the head lines of the internet, I read of a young man, just 17 years old, a high school senior, who was playing football in the season's opening game, when he died quite suddenly of a heart attack. He was well respected and loved and a leader in his community. Where are these young people now?? If they knew the Lord as their personal Savior we KNOW they are in His presence, walking the streets of heaven, free of the troubles and perplexities of this world as we all know it. Our lives here are nothing more than a vapor, here today, gone tomorrow. Rather we are taken as young as they two were or live to be a 103 like a woman I read of just recently, it really doesn't matter. We will all eventually pass from this life to the next. And I don't know about the rest of you, but I for one take great comfort and joy in knowing that as I close my eyes to my life here on this earth, I will open them in the presence of my Lord and Savior.
THE SECRET OF LASTING FORGIVENESS
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