On more than one occasion, the Bible compares our bodies to tents. Now, tents aren’t a permanent residence, but you can do whatever you want with them. You can paint them, stretch them, and even patch them. But they’re only meant to serve as temporary residences.
The apostle Paul said that for Christians, dying is like breaking camp and taking down a tent. He wrote, “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands” (2 Corinthians 5:1 NLT).
If you like to camp, then you know what it’s like to get everything ready and set up your tent. But the moment eventually comes when you will have to break camp.
Paul told the believers in Philippi, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. . . . For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:21, 23 NKJV).
In the original language, depart was the same term soldiers used to describe breaking camp and moving on. We could also use the word to describe freeing someone from their chains. And for a believer, that’s what death is like.
Lastly, the word depart could describe untying a boat from its moorings. In other words, it’s to set sail.
When we lose loved ones, we’re sad because we miss them. But no person who’s in Heaven right now would, if given the choice, want to come back to Earth. You see, departing isn’t sad if you’re setting sail for a better destination.
When Christians die, they’re headed to a beautiful place—a place far greater than Earth.