THE MORNING AFTER
The morning after my family’s two-day Thanksgiving gathering, it is quiet in the house and the cleanup begins. This was a mild and quiet Thanksgiving for us, since not even half the family was in town. I hope those of you who celebrated the US Thanksgiving (at home or abroad) this year, also had a day filled with family and friends, good food and great conversation.
Even though we had a significantly smaller group than usual this year, there was still a pile of laundry to do (I think every potholder and dishtowel was dirty), trash to empty and leftovers to be dealt with – not to mention photos to post and a few extra pounds to shed.
Sometimes the “morning after the night before” is not near so pleasant a situation. Sometimes, if our past lives included inappropriate partying the night before, the morning after might have included an hangover or fear of pregnancy or dealing with problematic business, personal or family issues. I hope you, dear sisters, have never experienced any of that, but probably you have seen it among family or acquaintances.
But what about the ultimate morning after – the morning after death? What will that “morning after” bring?
First, we have to remember that no one lives who will not see death. Psalm 89:48
For believers and non-believers alike, death will bring sleep. [Eccl 9:5] Nothing else happens until Jesus returns.
Jesus makes a direct connection between death and its sleep state in John 11:11-14 when He has this exchange with the disciples These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up. “Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well." However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead.” [NKJV]
Even King David is resting in his tomb right now. Acts 2:29 [NKJV] Men [and] brethren, let [me] speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
However, what I want to remind us about is not only the temporary state of this life but also the temporary state of that sleep of death.
For believers, although we may be in the sleep of death a very long or a very short time, the next moment – what to us will seem like the morning after – we have the following as our guarantee: 1 Corinthians 15:50-55 [ESV] I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 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 imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"
That next moment in our perception we will see our Savior on a white horse, coming to make the kingdoms of this earth, into the Kingdom of God. See Revelation 11:15. Note that this will not be a temporary state, but will be the “forever and ever” state from that moment on.
And we will see Satan bound. See Revelation 20:1.
For those not called “His saints” in this life, whether they never understood and obeyed or never even heard the name of Jesus, their wait is a little bit longer. See Revelation 20: 5 and Ezekiel 37.
This blog is not the place to go into more details. If you want to know more, (and I hope you do) you can search “after death” or “what happens after death” at www.CGI.org and you will find a variety of resources. Or you can go to the free store for booklets and articles about God’s plan of salvation, about hell, about what happens after death and more:
You might wonder why the morning after Thanksgiving had me thinking about death and resurrection. It is because this was the first Thanksgiving after the death of my brother, Toney. I’ve also experienced the sickness and death of both my parents and several other relatives. I’m sure you have lost family too. Family celebrations give us time for joy with those still with us and, sometimes, reflection on those who sleep in death. However, when we reflect God’s plan of salvation at these times, we can rejoice in knowing we will see them all again.
Sisters, God’s plan for the morning after is a comfort for we who believe. Let it also be a comfort to whose of us whose holidays and celebrations are touched with sadness as we grieve for the loved ones who are no longer with us.
We will all rejoice in the “morning after” moments – whether they are actually near at the time of death or whether we rest long in sleep. Praise God for His wonderful plan for us all!
I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.