How many of us question our faith on a daily basis? I bet almost all of us. The question with her became, is it real? Where do our loved ones go? Where do we look for answers? We can look at resources around us but around us is only temporary. I chose to look at the Bible as our source. The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors, in three different languages, on three different continents, over approximately 1600 years. The Bible claims to be inspired and inerrant. This means that the Bible claims to be from God and that it is without error. The Bible contains many different styles of writing such as poetry, narration, fiction, history, law, and prophecy and must be interpreted in context of those styles. It is the source of the Christian religion, containing the words of God, and how the Christian is to apply the words of God to his life. The books of the Bible are a collection of writings from certain people to certain people. They have one interpretation but numerous applications. There are countless historical and archeological proof of the Bible and its content.
The Book of 2 Corinthians:
In the year 52 AD the apostle Paul was reaching the end of his second missionary journey. He just spent about a year and a half in Corinth. Then on his third journey he spent about three years in Ephesus, from about 54 to 57 AD. This is where he wrote his letter to the Corinthians. He then left Ephesus and came to Macedonia. His friend Titus arrived having just returned from Corinth and gave Paul the good news that his letter was received with joy but there were some leaders in the Corinthian church who were questioning Paul's authority. It was at this time that Paul wrote his second stern letter to the Corinthian church and gave it to Titus to hand-deliver. In his second letter to the Corinthians he defended his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 New International Version (NIV)
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
Paul was trying to tell the Corinthians to avoid the false prophets and to live together as believers. In Paul’s day and today, we were given this promise in scripture from God. As believers there is no alternative. We are either in our earthly bodies and absent from the Lord or we are with the Lord and absent from our bodies. So, I believe this is a very strong guarantee that when we leave our earthly bodies we will go directly into the presence of our Lord. This Biblical text is a great reminder that while we go through this walk of faith (but not of sight), we fellowship with our creator, yet it surely pales in comparison to what we will experience in heaven.
This knowledge becomes a very comforting thought when we have lost someone we love. We now know where our loved one is and further, where we will be. Hopefully, this promise will take the sting out of the sadness you feel because that physical presence is gone. It is something to hold on to on our darkest days as we put our heads down and push forward through our despair. Gradually we will come out of the darkness and slowly the light will engulf us again to experience lives of joy.