Revelation 14:13: This life counts.
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write this: blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labour, for their deeds will follow them.’ NIV
This verse stands as a stark contrast to what we saw in yesterday’s section. It clearly is not a blessing to die outside of the Lord. But we are blessed if we die ‘’in’’ Him. I remember using this verse to speak at a funeral service a few years ago. A Christian man who was present on the occasion, and who had spent time at ‘All Souls’, Langham Place in London, told me what the late, great Rector, John Stott, had said about these words. Apparently he told the congregation to note that their deeds ‘’follow’’ them. They don’t go in front. They don’t pave the way for anyone to get into heaven. But they do follow on from faith, like the carriages coming behind the engine.
What this underlines is the fact that this life matters for the Christian. What we do here, sincerely, in Jesus’ Name, out of love for Him, has eternal repercussions. Good works will not get us into heaven, but they will be noticed in heaven, and will be rewarded when we get there.