What do you think happens to someone when they die?
Right after the time of Solomon the King, the Bible tells the story of two amazing prophets of God name Elijah and Elisha. Do you know what a prophet is? A prophet is someone that tells the people whatever God says. Sometimes prophets would even tell about the future, but mostly they simply repeated God’s word to the people. And that’s exactly what Elijah and Elisha spent their lives doing. The told people about God and they did amazing miracles too. In a lot of ways, they were like Jesus.
When Jesus died on the cross do you know what happened three days later?
That’s right, Jesus rose from the dead. And he would never die again. And then, few days after his resurrection, Jesus was taken up into heaven by God.
The Bible tells us that hundreds of years earlier something similar happened to the prophet Elijah. After Elijah told his student Elisha that he was going to have to leave soon, something amazing happened to Elijah. He was taken up into heaven right in front of Elisha’s eyes. Here’s how the Bible describes it:
2 Kings 2:11-12. 11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.
Elijah was taken up into heaven by flaming chariots and horsemen. That’s pretty awesome. And not just because there were flaming chariots and horsemen surrounding Elijah, but because Elijah didn’t die, he just went straight to heaven to be with God forever.
Did you know that when you have trusted in Jesus to save you from your sins, when you believe that he is God’s son who came to rescue us, that you don’t ever really die? Like Elijah we all go to heaven to be with God. Have you ever wondered what happens to a person when they die? Well Elijah’s story is a picture of the eternal life that God offers to all who will trust in him and in Jesus.
When we trust in Jesus as our savior it means that we never have to be afraid of what might happen to us, because we know that we will be with God no matter what happens. We can know that the inside part of us, our soul, won’t ever really die. Our soul gets to go to heaven with the chariots of fire, and we get to be with God and Jesus and all the others who love God too. And then one day our bodies will also be taken up to heaven too. And then we will live with God in a new and perfect body, on a new and perfect planet forever and ever. And that’s good news!
Because of Jesus we will never die.
With Jesus we can live without being afraid of what will happen to us.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Has your family experienced the death of a loved one? If age appropriate, why not get out their picture and talk through with your children what has happened to their soul (in heaven) and their body (buried now but will be in heaven someday). Talk about how God’s chariots of fire, his angels, protect us on our way to heaven. Make this a time of rejoicing in God’s salvation.
Here’s an Elijah coloring page.
Thank you for giving me eternal life with God forever. Help me to live unafraid of what might happen to me.
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