13″ But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep”. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
Christendom was grief stricken on Monday when the news hit the airwaves that Dr. Myles Munroe had been killed in an air-crash in the Bahamas. For a full twenty-four hours I was numb. No feelings of grief of any sort; in fact I began to worry that maybe I had become immune to death because of the spate of deaths this year. I saw all the posts on Social media about the pain people were feeling; respected men and women of God posted their grief, ‘wannabes’ wrote about how much they had been positively impacted by his message and ministry, and on and on. But I felt nothing and I honestly wondered why. Until this morning.
Early this morning I listened to a short message in which he talked about time and purpose, life and death. And then I thought about the scripture passage quoted at the beginning of this article and now I know why I cannot mourn Dr. Myles Munroe, even if I wanted to. The Bible says we should not mourn like those who have no hope; hope of what? Hope of eternity, hope in God’s ability to do what He promised and deliver on the promise of Heaven, hope that He will come back to take us home to be with Him in eternity. Hope that people like Dr. Munroe will make it to Heaven and we can continue the fellowship uninterrupted for an eternity.
You see, nowhere does the Bible promise us that we will live in this flesh forever; in that case we should all expect to die, any day, anyhow. Dr. Munroe clearly believed that the way we die is not that important; he said that when you live beyond when you finish your purpose you begin to do foolish things. The Dr. Myles Munroe that I know and people are mourning lived his life purposefully. We need to believe that his time to die came and he died. We need to see that he was very successful because he lived his life’s purpose. And if we believe that, then rather than mourn his tragic death, we should celebrate his glorious rebirth in Heaven. We should celebrate his crowning and be glad that one of us has ceased from toil.
The pain we feel should be a different kind; pain at all the unfinished tasks we have that we would regret if death came for us before we finished them. Pain at the amount of time we waste daily on things and relationships that do not count towards fulfilling our mission here on Earth. Dr. Munroe has finished his race; if we could hear him now he would probably say we are selfish for wanting him to remain here rather than resting in glory. I’m sure he would advise us to take advantage of the messages he left with us here on earth and to use them as tools to help us run a better race.
For Dr. Munroe, death was not the tragedy, a life without purpose was. Have you found yours?