1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV)
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
God promises His children that they wil be in heaven with Him. There will be a time when those who have died and those who are alive will all be together in the presence of The Lord.
In their book Building a Church of Small Groups, Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson relate the words of Lyman Coleman as he reflected on the death of his beloved wife, Margaret:
The most painful decision of my life was asking God to take her home. She had been suffering from repeated brain seizures and her body was wasted. I whispered in her ear: "Honey, I love you. I love you. Jesus wants you to come home. We are going to be all right. We give you permission to let go." She closed her eyes and fell asleep�.
As I write this letter, I realize I am without my editor. My greatest critic. My teammate. Soulmate. Prayermate. Partner in everything. We traveled the roads less traveled together in hard times and good times. Honey, I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. I will keep the light on for the kids. I will be there for friends. And one day, we are going to join you. All of us. Because Jesus promised it. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."
[Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson, Building a Church of Small Groups (Zondervan, 2001), p. 61]
I had a man tell me once, �I don�t know about me and God. I don�t know if I�m good enough for heaven.� I took the time to explain there is no one perfect in this world. All our righteous works are like dirty rags. There is no one who even comes close to the righteousness of God. It is why it is so important to understand Jesus Christ is God�s son as well as God. I know our minds have a hard time conceiving that, but it�s like an egg. There is a yoke, the white and the shell, yet it is an egg. With God, there is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ, fully God, was born of this world. He lived without sin, just as God the Father is without sin. Christ was tortured, beaten and crucified for our sake that we could be free from the punishment of sin. Jesus rose to life three days later showing us that we too would have a new life. John 3:16 says, �For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.� Trust, belief, faith that is how we enter God�s kingdom. The man I talked with said, �I want that today� so I prayed with him and he now knows that he is a child of God. One day will be in heaven with all God�s children.