March 30, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. - 2 Corinthians 5:1-8.
Imagine going to a friend’s funeral and then later in the day receiving a phone call from the friend! Can you imagine the shock of just seeing the friend’s number come up on your caller ID?
It would be one thing if your friend said, "I’m in this really dark place and need help getting out."
But then, it would be completely different if the friend said, "Just thought I would let you know that Heaven is great, and hope to see you soon!"
Either way it would be a shocker!!
There is a new phenomenon that is making its way across the globe. People are being buried with their cell phones. In South Africa, it was reported that a funeral home will actually include several batteries just in case one runs down. In some places, it would appear the desire is for the recently departed to be able to actually make use of the phone, if possible. In other places, it is simply the placing of something meaningful in their life to be with them. I have seen many different personal items placed in a casket with a loved one and it can be a very touching thing to see. However, if the body is to be cremated make sure you remove the battery from the phone because they will explode when heated.
As much as we would like to be able to communicate with our loved ones who have crossed from this world to the next, it is not possible.
King David knew the reality of this when he said of his baby that had died, "Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me (2 Samuel 12:23b)."
As the apostle Paul puts it are bodies are now our "earthly tents" and if these "tents" are "destroyed" we will then live in a "building from God" that is "eternal in the heavens." Notice that our bodies are "tents" meaning a temporary residence but our place of dwelling after death is a "building" that will be "eternal." While we live upon this earth we are "absent from the Lord" but when death comes and we leave our physical bodies and we will then be "present with the Lord."
It would be wonderful to be able to talk with someone who knew exactly what was going to happen after death. To talk to someone who had been through it and returned to share about everything that happened. That would be wonderful wouldn’t it? The wonderful thing is that there is a person who has been there and done that. His name is Jesus.
Jesus tells us in Revelation 1:18, "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." He who has died and rose again says, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die (John 11:25-26)."
Make no mistake, God knows exactly where you are and what is going on in your life. God also knows when His children will die and pass from this world to the next to their "eternal dwelling." God knows and as the Psalmist says, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (Psalm 116:15)."