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December 29 Today’s Reading: Revelation 14-16
“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.”
Death for the believer is not a thing to be dreaded. The grave is but a bed for his body. By death “the righteous is taken away from the evil to come” (Isaiah 57:1-2). As soon as he dies, the child of God enters into a state of blessedness in heaven, even while he awaits the glorious resurrection of his body.
Blessed in Dying
The believer is blessed in his dying. It does not matter when, where, or by what means the child of God dies. Those who die in the Lord are blessed in the expectation of death (2 Timothy 1:12; 4:6-8; Job 19:25-27), in the experience of death (2 Samuel 23:5; Acts 7:56), and in the event of death.
Blessed after Dying
God’s saints are forever blessed after they die (2 Corinthians 5:1-9). — “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth.” That is to say, after death nothing awaits us but blessedness, forever! “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” After death, for the believer, there will be no more sorrow, no more weeping, no more pain, no more trouble, no more sickness, no more suffering, no more sin!
Once we have dropped this robe of flesh, we shall rest from our labors. Do not imagine that the saints of God in heaven have no more service to render to Christ. Heaven is a place of unending, perfect service. But there we shall rest from the labor of our service.
In heaven there will be no ignorant ones to teach, no erring ones to rebuke, no despondency to comfort, no weakness to strengthen, no error to oppose, no needy ones to supply, no enemies to engage, no fences to mend, no strife to heal, no sick ones to visit, no bereaved ones to console, no straying ones to correct, no sinners to convert, no tears to dry. We shall rest from our labors: labors of the body, labors of the soul, labors of the heart, labors for Christ, labors in the gospel.
The word “labors” has in it the idea of woe. In heaven we shall rest from the woe of our labors. In this world all that we do for Christ has a certain measure of woe connected with it. You cannot serve Christ here without cost. But there we shall rest from the toils, sorrows, faults, failures, discouragement, disappointments, and strife of our labors. Nothing of sorrow will defile the blessedness of heavenly glory! “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors.”