This message could change your life if you let it.

Blessed in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Ps. 116:15

In 1997, I escorted a lady and her two young daughters from the airport to CBN and them to Rock Church where they were to speak. Her name was Ruth Ruibal.

I first heard Ruth on a George Otis documentary called Transformations I.

She and her husband, Julio, were pastors in Cali, Columbia. Julio was a key leader among church leaders there, working hard to build unity among pastors in that large city. But the unity Julio hoped for was not happening. The usual spirit of distrust and competitiveness among pastors kept them from praying and working together to help their very needy city which was in the iron grip of vicious drug cartels who ruled the city with money and guns.

One day in 1995, Pastor Julio was gunned down by an irate neighbor over a property dispute. As Ruth first saw her husband’s body lying crumpled in a pool of blood on the sidewalk, this verse spring into her mind: “Blessed in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints”.

No one knew at that moment could have imagined how many blessings would come from Julio’s death. His assassination provoked hundreds of pastors to lay aside their differences, jealousies and personal ambitions and work together to bring the Gospel to a city desperate for help. A great city-wide revival began in the months following that changed the city dramatically. That revival story has gone around the world through the George Otis video. That is free to watch on Youtube.

Obviously, the death of most Christians does not result in dramatic blessings like that. Just the opposite. We dread the death of loved ones and then grieve deeply for many weeks or even months after they die. So why would God call our deaths a blessed event?

In fact, it seems like a contradiction, doesn’t it? An oxymoron: Our loving God sees the death of His beloved children as a blessing.

First, God did not make us to live on earth very long.

80 years plus or minus 20 is a normal lifespan on earth. Of course, there was a time when people lived hundreds of years, but that stopped many centuries ago—except for Dick Clark, of course. Seriously, the poet is right: we inhabit this earth for just a short twinkle of time twixt two eternities. We are here— and poof! We are gone. Or—as Ps. 103 says:

“As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.”

So—of course, we are all going to die! Every living creature was born to die.

Secondly, God made us for heaven.

Each of us has a spirit that can never die and Christians who die living faithfully for the Lord, live forever with the Lord. That has always been God‘s plan. He even says that our citizenship is in heaven, NOT on earth

The Bible is very very emphatic that earth is not our real home. God says that we are aliens and strangers here on earth. In a real sense, we are just passing through. Heaven is our home

Thirdly, God has been waiting millions of years to have us in His home in heaven. Just read Eph 1:3-5

God chose us to be His children and God has always loved us even before there was a universe.

Imagine for a moment that you are God and you’ve been waiting millions of years to be face-to-face with your beloved children the Jesus died to save. One day you bring them forth on earth through their parents. Now You are more excited. You know exactly how many days each of your children will live before they leave earth for heaven as Psalm 139 explains.

Then, you spend decades raising your kids to be strong Christians. You are preparing them to rule and reign with Jesus as a joint heir of Jesus when they get to heaven. Like any good Christian parent, You are training your children to be more like Jesus in character, power and purpose.

Finally, within 60 to 100 years, your kids come home to heaven. You are happy that they leave behind what might be called their “baby tooth body” so you can one day give them their beautiful, glorious, supernatural body that will never grow old or get sick. Just before your children finish living all the days you have granted them on earth, You and the saints and angels in heaven get very excited. Millions of years of waiting, decades of training, but now it’s time to celebrate! Your children are coming home!

Jesus is so happy to finally meet you face-to-face! You are a part of his glorious Bride, the Church Triumphant. He can’t wait to show you your personal home He has prepared for you and tell you about the adventures you will have being His joint heir of all heaven. The saints and angels get to cheer your arrival. You made it! Family members in heaven are beside themselves to see you again.

In a word, the death of a Christian has to one of the most exciting things that happen in heaven for God and for all Who live in heaven.

So this is why the death of a Christian is precious in the sight of the Lord. God sees and knows what death really is. For a faithful follower of Jesus, death is the doorway to the greatest life, the most awesome adventures and deepest loves humans could ever know.

Another Example from South America

About 15 years ago, a native named Mincaye who used to live in the jungles of Ecuador prayed for me at the chapel service at CBN. He had been one of the warriors of the Waodani tribe who killed five young American men in 1956 when they attempted to contact in the tribe to win them to Jesus. Steve Saint’s father died that day as one of the five. Steve brought Mincaye to CBN.

The death of those five men became known throughout the world and several books have been written about them by Elizabeth Elliot and others. One famous book is called Through Gates of Splendor. Incredibly, after the natives killed her husband and the four others, Elizabeth Elliott and another white woman moved into the village of the killers olive with them. Today, almost everyone in that tribe loves the God the five men loved.

Mincaye was the very man who killed Steve’s father, Nate Saint. Steve was just a little boy when his father was killed but, but by God’s amazing grace, Steve grew up to become a close friend of Mincaye. So close, that Steve called Mincaye grandfather for the last 40 years.

Steve spoke that day sat CBN about this famous story that had never been known before. Recent interviews with members of the tribe who had participated in the slaughter of the Americans revealed that just after the Americans were killed they saw bright white lights overhead in the trees. Singing was coming from the lights. That scared the warriors. They knew they had done something wrong at that moment.

Folks, it does not take a lot of faith to believe that God’s angels were rejoicing over the death of those five, brave missionaries. From heaven’s perspective, they knew that the blood of those martyrs was going to open the door into the hearts of that tribe for the Gospel. And it did. What an honor to die that way!
How precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. God‘s angels were there that day, on that bloody beach in the middle of a vast jungle. Those angels were sent there to escort the spirits of us five missionaries home to heaven to receive a tumultuous welcome, a victorious homecoming for five men who gave their lives for the gospel of Jesus.