The deaths of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others in the helicopter crash last Sunday has dominated the news this past week. It was an event that brought shock, disbelief, and an outpouring of grief from a huge number of people. One news article that I read had a section in which a psychologist was asked why she thought people were reacting so strongly to this tragic event. She cited two factors: 1) the reality that life is fragile and can end so quickly for anyone, and, 2) the loss of the three girls at such an early age. The greatest reaction has been to the death of Kobe. He was known by millions of people around the world because of his basketball career. He wisely used his fame and basketball salary to become a successful businessman. His wealth and lifestyle were beyond the wildest dreams of most people. The shock for people is that one day he was here and the next day he was gone in the prime of his life.
The ultimate reality of life is to understand and to accept the truth that one day life on this earth will end and eternity will begin. The end can happen through death or it can happen when the Father decides to send the Son back to earth and bring about the end of time. Mark 13:32-33 says, “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.” People usually tend to think that death is the worst thing that could happen. Perhaps that is because of the pain and grief that is experienced when a loved one dies. God teaches that faithful Christians can have a different perspective about death as well as about the second coming of Christ. Either day can be the best day that a faithful Christian can have! Revelation 14:13 says, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” If we will be sure that we are “in the Lord,” then we have nothing to worry about. Also read Psalm 116:15 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
In Matthew 24:29 through 25:46, Jesus teaches extensively about the need for people to understand that eternity is coming and to be ready for it at all times. Unforeseen death happens every day. Jesus could return at any moment. Do not ignore these two truths. Instead, understand what God reveals to us about life, faith, and eternity. Prepare yourself by getting in Christ and staying in Christ. Then you will always be ready to leave this life and to enter a fantastic eternity in Heaven with God!