Christians should grieve over the death of a fellow brother or sister in Christ. It is good and right to feel the weight of sorrow when our beloved fellow Christians are taken home. It is not a grief without hope (1 Thess. 4:13), but it is a grief, even a “sorrow upon sorrow.”
If we are citizens of heaven, awaiting a future of glory and an eternal inheritance—someday to be forever in the presence of Christ and again among our earthly brothers and sisters—then why should we grieve over our brethren who die and go on to heaven before us?
Isn’t it a sign of earthly-mindedness to grieve over such things? Isn’t it unspiritual to be sad when a fellow Christian dies? If so, wouldn’t it then be even more unspiritual for a Christian to rejoice when a fellow brother or sister is healed and allowed to live longer here on earth? The answer to all these questions is a resounding “no.”
“To live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
The apostle Paul proclaimed, “To live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). He reminded the Philippians that they were citizens of heaven, someday to receive new bodies like the body of their Lord (Phil. 3:20). Yet, Paul was also grateful to God for sparing his brother and fellow worker Epaphroditus from death.