As I walked out of the chapel after a memorial service for a Christian friend, the funeral home director remarked, “You know, there’s a big difference between the funerals of those who are Christians and those who are unsaved.”
This man had witnessed hundreds of funerals and had been impressed by the striking difference between the behavior of true believers and those who did not have faith in Christ. He had observed that Christians are comforted by Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 4, “If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. . . . Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (vv.14,17).
Of course, we do grieve when death temporarily separates us from our loved ones. But the grief is greatly eased and the heartache gently softened by the truth of God’s Word: Christians who die go into the presence of the Lord Jesus Himself, and they will accompany Him when He returns to this earth.
We who are looking for our Lord’s second coming can take courage and find comfort in anticipating that glorious reunion. That’s what makes the big difference!
We'll meet again—perhaps today—
The dear ones who have passed away;
Oh, wondrous joy to meet them there
At that blest union in the air. —Smith
The bright ray of hope in the darkening skies is the promised return of the Son.