You know, we’re both going to die.
“That for sure! Unless, of course, Jesus returns beforehand, and changes us so that it isn’t necessary to die.”
Are you expecting that to happen in your case?
“Well, it could. I’m younger than you (sorry to have to bring up the point).”
No problem. I know how old I am; my body won’t let me forget it. But back to the subject—are you looking forward to the second coming as a way of escaping death?
“Well . . . sorta’”
Hmmmm. Are you looking forward to death if that’s what will happen instead?
“That’s a bit different.”
“Well . . . I’m not sure.”
Will the transition from life to larger life by death be any different?
In either case, you will be with the Lord. which Paul says is “far better. And Jesus told the thief that when they died they’d be together that very day in Paradise.
“Yea. You’re right. But I wouldn’t yet have my glorified body.”
Correct. But with or without a body, Paul said that in Paradise, which he equated with the third heaven, he heard all sorts of good stuff he couldn’t reveal (II Corinthians 12:4). Sounds like a great place to be while awaiting the resurrection of the body.
“Yeah. Suppose you’re right.”
Sure I am. Paul couldn’t wait to die, which he called “gain” (Philippians 1:21). Anyone you know who doesn’t like to gain something?
“Don’t think so. But what sort of gain will I get?”
We know very little about the intermediate state between death and the resurrection. We do know that it is called “heaven” and “paradise,” however, and that’s a pretty good indication that the gain will be pleasant. We know that we’ll be with Christ, which is wonderful. We know that we will leave the sorrows of sin behind. Sounds like we know all we need to know to strongly anticipate it.
“You’re right. The only difference then, between transformation at Christ’s coming and transformation at death has to do with the body, and with how we leave this present world. It’s not death I fear, but the deterioration of the body that often leads so it. If I go at the second coming, I might avoid some of that.”
That’s about all the difference.
“But I guess that too is one more opportunity to lay up treasures in heaven—if I handle suffering leading to death Christ’s way.”
Right you are. So if one is a Christian, one way or another, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“Sounds great, either way!”