BLESSED are THOSE who ‘DIE’ in JESUS CHRIST: Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them." (Rev 14:12-13)
In the above passage Apostle John receives special instruction regarding those who die in Christ. These born-again sanctified believers in Christ, who patiently with endurance keep His commandments and faith in very difficult times, will receive a special divine blessing. They will be blessed through rest, resurrection and reigning with Christ during the Millennium (20:4–6).
The word ‘blessed’ mentioned in this passage is the second of the seven ‘beatitudes’ in the book of Revelation (see 1:3; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14). We are ‘blessed’ to die in Christ (2 Cor 5:6, 8) mainly due to the following three reasons:
- We die in a state of vital union with Christ and will be with Him forever.
- We rest from all sin, temptation, sorrow, and persecution.
- Our good deeds remain on the earth while we receive heavenly rewards for our services and sufferings.
Spiritual rest is available to anyone who comes to Jesus Christ in faith (see Matt. 11:28). Godly believers who die will rest from their labors and their good works will be remembered and rewarded (see 1 Tim. 5:25). It would indeed be a blessing for the believers who live during the Great Tribulation to die as martyrs as they would be at rest beyond the grave and God would then reward their faithful deeds.
Let us understand that everything we do for Christ and in His name for others will be richly rewarded—every kindness, sacrificial gift, prayer, and word of testimony. Let us determine to live for Christ, so that we can die in Christ, and be counted among the ‘blessed’ in Christ!
"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better." (Phil 1:21-23)