When Daniel Goes to Heaven
Recently we have been studying the judgment in depth, going into detail about the process, history, parties involved, and when it will happen. Tied closely with the judgment is the issue of death. If you are judged and found guilty, what happens? What if you are not found guilty? What about dying right now? We explored these questions and share a couple of points below.
Daniel closes the book in chapter 12 by hearing that he will be resurrected at the end of the days. In Daniel 12:2 we learned that death is like sleep, and that one day everyone will be awakened. Some will be awakened to eternal life, and some to shame and eternal contempt.
1 Corinthians 15 talks about how important the resurrection is to the Christian faith. If there is no resurrection, then Jesus is not alive. If He is not alive, then our preaching is useless. This also means that those who have fallen asleep in Jesus are lost forever (v 18).
Talking about the judgment can seem scary. After all, our first thoughts tend to wander to “Will I make it?” or “Am I going to barely miss eternal life?” We fear not making it and facing a horrible punishment. Talk about death, no second chances, and a God who claims to love everyone while letting people be lost is not the bedtime story we wish to hear.
However, there is no reason to fear. 1 Thessalonians 4 reveals that Jesus is coming again, and those that die in Jesus will be resurrected and live forever. Jesus has the power over death. He has the power over sin. He has power over the grave. Those that are alive when Jesus comes and are on God’s side will go up to heaven to meet with Jesus, along with the recently resurrected people of God. Why does Paul tell us about this? He tells us this so that we can comfort each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
Talking about the judgment seems cumbersome and overwhelming, if not gloomy. But Paul tells us that when it is all over, those that have chosen Jesus will get to be with Jesus, and those that have not chosen Jesus will have their choice respected. God is not going to force anyone to be with him.
You can have the assurance of salvation today. You can rest assured that by accepting Jesus as your personal Savior, you can have eternal life (John 3:16). God gave Daniel the assurance of a resurrection of eternal life, and Jesus did not even come the first time yet! That same Jesus assured the thief on the cross that he would one day be in heaven with him. That same Jesus can assure you right now, that you can be saved and know that you will have eternal life.
Will you choose to follow Jesus today?
For more on the topic of death, read our earlier post here.