This past September, the editor of Signs of the Times® for 27 years, Marvin Moore, passed away. With the loss comes sadness, for sure. Nevertheless, we are reminded of Marvin’s hope in Christ. Those of you who are regular readers of this magazine already know that hope for the future is a major theme of these pages. In this article published 15 years ago in the January 2006 issue, Marvin outlined his certainty of a future life beyond the grave—a lifelong benefit for every Christian. He is now at rest awaiting the return of his Savior, when he will awaken to live out the rest of his life eternally—the hope he so enthusiastically shared with everyone he knew. As we begin a new year and many are seeking hope in these tumultuous times, we sincerely desire that you will take heart from Marvin’s words and find hope for your own future.
You’ve heard the saying, “The only things that are sure in life are death and taxes.” Of course, some people escape paying all or most of their taxes by using loopholes in the tax law. But there’s no loophole in the law of death.
Or is there?
Well, it’s true that sooner or later, death will catch up with all of us. But the Bible promises eternal life to those who believe in Jesus. “The wages of sin is death,” the apostle Paul wrote, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Even if they die, those who accept Jesus as their Savior will live again, for a resurrection day is coming.
The Bible promises that “the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples that He would soon be leaving them, and “where I am going, you cannot follow now” (John 13:36). He meant, of course, that He would be leaving this earth and returning to His home in heaven. The disciples were terribly unsettled by this news and asked why they couldn’t follow Jesus immediately.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled,” Jesus reassured them. “I am going . . . to prepare a place for you [meaning in heaven]. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1–3).
The promise Jesus made to His disciples is also for you and me. He will return to this earth someday and bring back to life those who have died trusting in Him. And Paul said that these, along with those of His people who are privileged to be alive when He returns, “will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).
The change Paul spoke about is wonderful good news: “The perishable,” he said “must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality” (verse 53). So those who have put their faith in Jesus will live forever!
That’s good news only if the heaven where Jesus will take us is better than our environment on this earth right now. And it will be! Here’s how Revelation describes God’s new world: “ ‘There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
That’s the ultimate benefit of being a Christian!
Marvin Moore was the editor of Signs of the Times®. 1994–2021.