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Miranda Writes: Disney World Death




by Omar Miranda

What happens at death and the final resurrections?

I grew up in central Florida in the town of Apopka, which is near Orlando. We lived quite close to Disney World. My aunt worked at another amusement park, and several times a year she traded her free employee tickets to her own park for tickets to Disney World.

The night before any of our trips to Disney World, my brothers and I were so excited that it seemed as though we’d never be able to get to sleep. My brothers and I had the whole trip down to a science. We knew which rides were the best, which places to eat were the best, and what were the best times to go. I mean, we went off the deep end, and in our wild excitement we ran and ran and ran in the hot Florida sun until the sun went down and we grudgingly had to get back into the car to go home.

Once we got into our van to begin the ride back home, we started  enthusiastically talking about all our incredible adventures. But soon we dropped off to sleep in exhaustion. You know the kind of deep sleep I’m talking about. The next thing we knew, it was morning. Mom and Dad had carried us into the house, put our pajamas on us, and put us into bed—all without our ever waking up.

As far as we were concerned, one minute we were in the car, leaving Disney World at night, and the next minute we were in our beds and it was daytime. How confusing. Has that ever happened to you?

That’s what the Bible says death is like: a deep, unconscious, dreamless sleep (see, for example, 1 Kings 2:10; Psalm 13:3; Jeremiah 51:39; Matthew 9:24; and Acts 7:60). It’s a state of complete nothingness (see Ecclesiastes 9:5).
 A lot of people think that when we die, we either go directly to heaven and spend eternity with God or go directly to hell and spend eternity burning with the devil and his evil angels. But that’s not what the Bible teaches.

The Bible tells us that when we die, every part of us ceases to exist. But in the future there will be two different resurrections brought about by God. The first one is only for the righteous dead—those who accepted Christ as their Savior and lived as His loving followers. The second resurrection takes place 1,000 years later. It is only for the wicked dead—those who didn’t ultimately accept Christ as their Savior and lived as followers of Satan or the world. Soon after the second resurrection, Satan, his evil angels, and the wicked will be destroyed by fire. They will completely burn up, and then the fire will go out. No one will burn forever. It’s just that the results of the fire—their deaths—will be everlasting (see Revelation 20:1-9).

Paul describes the first resurrection in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18: “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep [died]. For 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. Therefore encourage each other with these words” (NIV).1

Aren’t you glad the Bible is clear about what will happen after we die? We won’t be in some heavenly waiting room or burning in hell eternally. God is too loving, too kind, and too merciful for that. We’ll just be in a state of nothingness—like a deep sleep—waiting for one of the two future resurrections.

However, you may ask, “If God is so loving, then why will He destroy Satan and all the wicked?” Well, the answer is really quite simple. The God who loved Adam and Eve enough to give them the free choice to obey or disobey Him is the same God who created a way to fix the sin problem. If we want to, we can choose eternal life by accepting Jesus as our Savior. Or we can turn down the gift of salvation. The choice that we make with our free will determines whether we spend eternity with God or not.

Here’s the bottom line: God loves you so much that He’s willing to honor your choice to live your life without Him. But in the end, He’s still coming back to make all things right and to restore the perfect world that He initially created. If we don’t want any part of Him, then as much as He hates to let us go, He’ll honor our request. God doesn’t want us to be destroyed by fire, but He won’t take away our freedom to choose that end.

God says: “Tell them that as surely as I am the living Lord God, I don’t like to see wicked people die. I enjoy seeing them turn from their sins and live. So if the Israelites want to live, they must stop sinning and turn back to me” (Ezekiel 33:11, CEV).2

He’s that loving and that fair. God doesn’t want worship and obedience that are forced. He wants to spend time with people who want to spend time with Him.
So now that we’ve discussed this information, what choice do you want to make? I’m choosing eternity with God. I hope you’ll want to choose the same thing. And you can make that choice right now. Start enjoying life and peace and fellowship with God today!

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

1Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
2Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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