Sunday, October 11, 2009

# 287: Why Death?

Death is an unpleasant topic most people don’t care to talk about, yet in the Christian life it is of importance. Death is something most people fear and would like to postpone as long as possible, and I can understand that. And yet, according to the New Testament (NT), death can be something to look forward to.

I will bring up Biblical verses that speak positively about death, of course meaning only for genuine Christians. Yes, death is the end of life as we know it. But according to the NT, after physical death, we will have what will seem like a momentary sleep until the judgment day, and then we will start to experience a glorious life that we could not imagine at this time. But for all atheists and “Christian” hypocrites, death is the dreaded end of all life.

Since this is true, why do the vast majority of Christians still fear death? I do understand that many have families to care for and have other earthly obligations, and that they are the only ones with certain responsibilities, which is why they do not want to leave this earth at the present time. And still, I believe that even with many worldly obligations, death should not be feared. Many times, those left behind are the ones affected the most by the loss of their loved one.

Did you know that in the complete animal kingdom, though they all engage in survival of the fittest, not one of them fears death or is concerned about it, because they know nothing about death or even the existence of death? Their intellect cannot comprehend it; they are great at living in the moment.

To my knowledge, humans are the only group of living beings who fear death and the fact that we will all eventually die. Actually, death is a foreign invader to our intellect. It is the most feared and unnatural enemy of all. In fact, even though we take it for granted that we will eventually all die, it makes no sense to die; it is stupid.

Physical death infers that we are dispensable, regardless of how important we think we are. But when we become genuine Christians, we become extremely valuable to God and therefore are indispensable, where death cannot violate our existence any more than it can destroy the eternal life of Jesus Christ.

Death is natural to the animal kingdom, and even though we are part of that kingdom, our intellect causes us to elevate ourselves above them. We also will die and accept it as natural. Therefore, it is the fear of death that must be destroyed. As President F. D. Roosevelt stated after the Japanese invaded Pearl Harbor, “The only thing to fear is fear itself.”

Here is the answer to the mystery that has been hidden for ages regarding why no one really wants to die: not wanting to die strongly implies, without ever thinking it, that we all desire to live forever. That tells me that every human being on earth was made with the potential to live forever; all they need to do is live and believe as God through Christ commands, and it’s a done deal. That means that eternal life agrees with our innermost being (our intellect), and the devil (the personification of the death) is our enemy, who attempts to deny us eternal life.

That is why it is imperative that all Christians must, through Christ, destroy the fear of death. Death keeps us prisoner to this animalistic, carbon-based, me-first world.

That is why as Christians, our assurance of having eternal life and our knowledge and obedience to Gospel truths is the basis for destroying the fear of death.

Hebrews 2:14-15. “… so that by his death he (Jesus Christ) might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Death without faith in Christ is Satan exerting his satanic power.

1st Corinthians 15:54-55. “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin . . .”

1st John 3:14. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in [spiritual] death.”

The above verse is saying that when we have an active Divine love for others, which is evidence, that fear of death will no longer hold us captive. And those without that special Divine love will still have the fear of death as something that must be avoided at all costs.

2nd Timothy 1:10. “but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who has DESTROYED DEATH and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” [emphasis added].

Romans 6:23. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Anyone whose sins have not been taken away by Christ will still have fear of death, and with good reason.

There is no doubt that I am not a run-of-the-mill Christian; still, let me tell you how my personal life is intertwined with death. Before I do, let me quote how the great apostle Paul is torn between life and death: Philippians 1:21-25. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what should choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”

I also, at this time, wholeheartedly desire to depart from this senseless, demonic, greedy world to be with the one I love (Jesus Christ). And yet, it is better for the cause of Christ that I remain just a little longer because there are multitudes of people who call themselves Christians, but don’t know what is expected of them as the NT commands. I continually pray that by word of mouth or through this blog, Christ—through me—might snatch a few more from the fire so that they may be saved.

Jude, the brother or half-brother of Jesus, is believed to have written the short book of Jude. In Jude 22-23, he writes, “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them . . .”

It is everyone’s solemn duty as disciples of Christ to make a wholehearted effort to snatch as many as possible from the pending fire. Some may say, “That is not our job, but belongs to the ministers, etc.” That is a blatant lie. If anyone is in possession of something very valuable and special (eternal life), a team of wild horses couldn’t stop them from sharing it with every Tom, Dick and Mary, so that they can have it also. Not having a desire to share the gift of life implies that they may have nothing to share.

In conclusion, death will have a dramatic effect on everyone. To those who are God’s children, death should/will be a joyful experience; if they are not, they will have a fearful and dreadful ending to their lives.

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