When it comes to finances, companies and individuals alike concern themselves with gains and losses. Naturally, the desire is to have more gains at the end than losses. When it comes to the passing of a loved one and our own inevitable transition, it is understandable how we can sometimes dwell on the loss and forget about the gain. Without question, a loss is present when someone we love goes to be with God. A common thought is that it is our loss, but heaven’s gain. While that is true, there is also incomparable gain received by the one who has passed. In Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, he writes about the wonderful gains of the Christian who has fallen asleep.
There is the gain of SALVATION – because of God’s eternal choice (2:13). He who holds time in His hand and is not bound by time, has eternally chosen the Christian for this salvation. This comes by God’s Spirit sanctifying us because of our faith in the truth.
There is the gain of the outcome of our GOOD HOPE (2:16). That confident expectation we live our lives with as Christians will be fulfilled.
There is the gain of ETERNAL COMFORT (2:16). Such comfort from God can apply to both while we are in the realm of time and of course when we leave for eternity. At a time of loss, the gain of God’s eternal comfort is what is needed most.
There is the gain of the GLORY of our Lord Jesus Christ (2:14). This is perhaps the most magnificent gain of all! We get to see the amazing glory of God. This comes from being called through the gospel.
When either we or a loved one passes there will always be a great loss felt. At the same time, there is also tremendous gain on behalf of the one who passes. We can take solace in knowing the gain which our loved ones have received, and which also awaits all of us who “stand firm and hold” to God’s word. “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.”