Eternal life is a concept that is hard for most of us to understand. Those who believe that the Bible is the true word of God, hold on to the promise that, after our death, we will live forever in heaven with Jesus.
Listen to the story of Dwight Moody, one of history's most influential and effective servants of God.
During his lifetime he spoke to more than 100 million people, and led hundreds of thousands to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Presidents Lincoln and Grant both attended his famous revival services. He founded educational institutions that continue to operate today such as the Chicago Evangelism Society, later named the Moody Bible Institute.
Despite Moody's success in the ministry, he always felt a pressing need to know more of the Holy Spirit and continued to ask God to fill him with the Spirit, so God granted his request. It is recorded that as he was lying in his deathbed, he suddenly opened his eyes and spoke clearly: "Earth recedes! Heaven opens before me." His son, sitting near him, suggested he was dreaming. "This is no dream, Will." Moody replied. "It is beautiful! It is like a trance! If this is death, it is sweet! God is calling me, and I must go!"
As the family gathered around he said. "This is my triumph! This is my coronation day! I have been looking forward to it for years." His face suddenly lit up. "Dwight! Irene! I see the children's faces!" (Dwight and Irene were his recently deceased grandchildren.) Then he spoke again. "No pain! No valley! If this is death, it's not bad at all! It's sweet!"
Even at his death Dwight Moody was a teacher and an inspiration. He crossed from this mortal life into the heavenly kingdom with the security and the joy of a man who had spent his life in consistent communication with God.
Jesus promises that there is room for everyone in heaven. He guaranteed a place for all believers when He went to the cross on our behalf and is now heaven preparing a place for us. Even with this glorious expectation, it can be frightening to think about death and stepping into the unknown.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:2-3 KJV
There is a way to overcome that fear. I believe that a life spent devoted to God and in search of His truth, results in such closeness that, with the approach of death, the veil becomes so thin that one can almost see through it.
Dwight Moody seemed to have the answer to understanding eternal life and freedom from the fear of death. Develop such closeness with Jesus that you need only reach out and take His hand.