How do you cope when a friend or family member dies? Death seems to have surrounded me this past month as a number of close acquaintances and friends have died one after another.
A family friend from years gone by has died in Minnesota. A middle-aged husband and father died in a tragic accident. Our senior editor and a pastor in the United Kingdom died unexpectedly of a heart attack. A middle aged minister died of brain cancer and another dear friend in the ministry of years gone by in Kentucky died at age 85 and I was asked by the family to officiate at his funeral. All this was sobering and personally grievous.
What makes death sorrowful is the separation from our loved ones and not having contact with them that we take so much for granted.
We don't like to think about death and it's always a shock when the news of a loved one or friend comes to us. I do have my favorite biblical passages that give me instant perspective about God's perspective of death and the hope-filled truth about life beyond. I'd like to share them with you:
1. All will have to die once.
"And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation" (Hebrews:9:27-28 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. ).
2. Death is not final – a change from our death state is coming!
"If a man dies, shall he live again ? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes" (Job:14:14If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.).
3. This promised change brings eternal life!
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Corinthians:15:51-52 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  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. ).
4. We will be victorious over death.
"And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 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:21:3-4 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.  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. ).
The Bible is plain: Death for all of us is sure, but so also is the hopeful truth from God about what death is and what will happen to us.
I invite you to read more about this subject from the authoritative and consistent Word of God. You can find comforting details of humanity's sure hope in our free Bible study aid "What Happens After Death? " that can be found on our UCG.org website . It's not mere ideas or philosophizing of men. It's a clear explanation straight from the Bible and one of great confidence.
PS: Please share with me about your thoughts of how you coped with the loss of a loved one. It can be therapeutic to share and find support. Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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