“Knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.”
just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me
Peter ministered for over thirty years knowing he would not die naturally. He knew he was not going to die in bed. The Lord Jesus revealed this to him in the gospel of John,
Jn 21:18-19, “’ Most assuredly, I say to you [Peter], when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.’ 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’”
Peter’s death hung over his head for thirty years. Peter knew he was to die a forceful death. We all know that we will die eventually if we are not raptured first, but most of us think we will die a natural death of biological causes. That is a comforting thought to some extent.
Peter now writes Second Peter in the face of his imminent death. He knew this would be the last time he would communicate with them. When Paul wrote Second Timothy, he knew that that epistle would also be his last letter.
2 Ti 4:6, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure [death] is at hand.”
Paul gives his perspective on death in Philippians,
Php 1:21-24, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.”
Paul could not help the folks at Philippi if he had died and gone to heaven. This statement gives a lie to spiritism (contacting the spirits of the dead in the other world).
A significant section of Scripture that deals with the body and death is 2 Corinthians five. The word “tent” occurs twice in the opening verses.
2 Co 5:1-4, “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.”
Paul talked of being in the body and out of the body,
2 Co 12:2-4, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
“Soul-sleep” is not Scriptural. The body is the only part of the human being that “sleeps” when death occurs. The soul does not sleep. The word “cemetery” means “sleeping place,” but it is only a “sleeping place” for the body.
Death causes us to take stock of eternal things.
When death approaches, it causes us all to take stock of our lives. Peter’s death was coming near; therefore, he was taking stock of himself and those to whom he wrote. The thing that was upon his heart was the truth of what would happen to him when he died; He wanted them to remember consequential doctrines about going to heaven.
Peter saw clearly that the body was not the soul; it merely houses the soul. The body is destructible, but the soul is not. Except for the time of the rapture, all of us will put off our bodies in death. Our bodies will lie in the grave until the resurrection. Our souls will be in the presence of our Lord.
Does Psalm 116:15 sound strange to you?
Ps 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His saints.”
If using the word “precious” regarding death is strange to you, it is because you are earthbound. You are earth oriented rather than heaven oriented. You are chained to the values of this life.