9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one was able to count, from all nations and tribes and peoples and languages, were standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and holding palm branches in their hands; 10 and they are crying out with a loud voice: “Salvation is our God’s, who sits on the throne, and the Lamb’s.” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell down on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, 12 saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!” 13 And one of the elders replied, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and from where did they come?” 14. Then I said to him, “My lord, surely you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who are coming out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” 15 Therefore, “they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple, and he who sits on the throne will spread his tabernacle over them; never will they hunger again, never will they thirst again, never will the sun strike down upon them, nor any burning heat, For the Lamb at the center of the throne will shepherd them, and will lead them to streams of living water; And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if anything is morally excellent and if anything is praiseworthy, think about these things.” This is Paul’s inspired guidance for our lives. Likewise, it is good advice at our deaths. What could be more true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy than heaven? So during your last hours of life on earth, think about these things!
During your dying hours you have two options. You can think about the damned, who died and went to hell, or you can think about the saints who died and went to heaven. The devil will want to direct your thoughts to the damned in hell, who suffer its torments endlessly, in order to frighten you and to destroy your faith. This will be his last chance to devour you before you die. If he can shake up your faith in your closing moments, so you die with doubts about your salvation, he will have won over you in the end. You can expect him, then, to conjure up the worst pictures of hell, with flames as tall as a skyscraper, with scenes of the twisted faces of the damned in indescribable agony, who scream and weep and gnash their teeth. If he has his way with your mind, such gruesome pictures are all he will allow you to think about.
To defeat his evil scheme, think about the scene of heaven as described by the apostle John in Revelation 7:9-17 above. Then think about all the true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, commendable, morally excellent, praiseworthy blessings waiting for you there. Think about the saints in heaven, standing before the throne of God in their white robes of forgiveness and the righteousness of Christ. They have come out of this world’s tribulation, and through its last tribulation, death, to be in heaven. There they see the Lord’s promises of redemption and salvation fulfilled. There they rejoice with songs of praise to God for saving them. There they behold all the honorable things God had prepared for them from creation, which that robber, the devil, took from them, but which God restored to them through Christ Jesus. There they see the Lord himself in his righteousness and are satisfied with being in his likeness, innocent and holy. There they behold the purity of heaven which is undefiled, without blemish, perfect in every way, and out of the devil’s corrupting reach. There they see a loveliness which defies our present human understanding, for we have never beheld such loveliness and beauty as exists in heaven for God’s saints. There everything is commendable, drawing praises and hallelujahs without end from the angels and saints alike. There is excellence, unlike all the imperfections among which we dwell now. These are the things to think about during the moments leading up to your death, knowing shortly these will all be yours. If these blessings fill your thoughts, the devil cannot wiggle in the slightest scene of the damned in hell to frighten you.
Keep reminding yourself, “The Lord’s saints in heaven will soon swell in number by one more--me! I will be with them in my white robe of forgiveness and righteousness which Jesus prepared for me. Clothed in his robe of purity, I will stand before God’s throne with a palm branch in my hand, my symbol of victory over the devil, sin, and hell. Never again will I suffer as I have in this world. All that has bugged, irritated, and afflicted me on earth, and made my life miserable, will be gone forever. I will live in the presence of my Savior God, soaking up his glorious rays and the pure essence of his love and righteousness. This is what is waiting for me on the other side of death. I will not permit that demonic robber of all that is good, the devil, to steal from me these glorious thoughts of the heaven before me. I will die in hopeful expectation, knowing that my Lord has said in Revelation 14:13: “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”