As a believer in Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished for all who believe, we have nothing to fear when it comes to leaving this world.
Christ overcame death. He is risen from the dead, and prepares a place for us in Heaven if we are His children.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (KJV).
I am always encouraged when I read the account of Simeon in Luke. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and then, following His circumcision, it was necessary for Him to be presented
with a sacrifice as the firstborn male of the family. Mary and Joseph took Him to the temple in Jerusalem, before returning to Nazareth.
“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law.” – Luke 2:25-27 (KJV).
It is interesting that Simeon was waiting for the “consolation of Israel”. God had promised Israel a redeemer, a priest, a counsellor and a Prince of Peace and Simeon had been promised that he would see the Messiah before he died.
He was a godly man, the Holy Spirit was upon him, and he recognised this child was the Saviour.
“Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” – Luke 2:28-32 (KJV).
The redeemer had come. The Messiah was here. The prophesies were being fulfilled. Salvation was come not only to Israel, but to the whole world to those who would believe.
We can be like Simeon, and rejoice our Saviour has come and death has been dealt with. We are promised that when the time comes, and we depart this world, we will instantly be with our Lord.
“Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:). We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” – 2 corinthians 5:5-10 (KJV).
The “earnest” mentioned in verse 5 is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in each true believer, and is God’s promise of eternal life. We are therefore “sealed” to this end and God cannot lie.
The Bible tells us that on earth we have no promise of tomorrow, and must be content whatever state we are in today. We can look forward to the eternity that lies before us, meanwhile serving our Lord and master here until we are called home.
Like Simeon I am ready to depart in peace. Are you?
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About the author
Barrie Hanson lives in Bluff, Southland. He has been a Christian for over 40 years and in that time he has been a preacher, Pastor and a church helper in both Auckland and Hamilton.
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