The Expository Files

What Will You Leave Behind?

His name was Stephen. He became the first person to be put to death for being a disciple of Jesus Christ. Following his execution, the Bible tells us that “devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.” (Acts 8:2). Later, Dorcas, another early Christian, died of natural causes. The Bible describes her as being “full of good works and charitable deeds.” (Acts 9:36). There was again much sorrow at her death.

Both of these Christians were mourned, but not because of their state in death. When Christians die, they gather to a place that the Lord has designated, described as “very much better” and “paradise.” Instead, the sorrow was due to the fact that these two would be missed by those left behind; their friendship, support and kindness. The Scripture says, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on! ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; for their deeds will follow them.” (Rev. 14:13).

When we die, we leave behind the effect we have had on the world; on our loved ones, neighbors and friends. There are far more important legacies we can leave behind than money and property. The Bible states that “none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself (Rom. 14:7). Those who live by faith will be missed when they die, but in Christ, even in death they are made alive, and their words and deeds continue to influence the world. What will you leave behind?

By Jon W. Quinn
The Front Page
From Expository Files 18.4; April 2011