“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.” (2 Kings 2:11)
No matter how different people’s life course can be, it is always concluded by the sad refrain “and he died”. Not so with Elijah. 2 Kings 2 records how he is taken to heaven by chariots and horses of fire. He does not have to face death.
Since God created natural laws, He can also break them if He wants to. Genesis 5:24 records a similar story about Enoch: “One day Enoch was walking with God, and he disappeared. God took him” (ERV).
Elijah, Elisha and a group of other prophets know beforehand that the Lord will take Elijah away that day. His task as a prophet is completed and Elisha is to take over. He is Elijah’s spiritual heir, and therefore asks for the double portion that a firstborn son would normally inherit from his father: “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me” (2 Kings 2:9). Elijah can’t grant him his wish, but God does. From then on, “the spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha” (2 Kings 2:15).
The wonderful gift of God’s Spirit is not hereditary. We can’t pass it on to other people. But we can leave a precious spiritual inheritance and example by sharing the Gospel with them and living it out. If you die today, what would you leave behind?