My heart is moved to write about a hard topic this evening: Death. How much we all hate it. Thinking of our impending death or having to face the death of a loved one… surely it has to be the most difficult thing in life or one of them anyway. This evening I found out someone very important to me from my past has died. Thankfully, he is/was a well known professing believer so I have confidence and joy that he has passed through death to begin his eternal life and eternal security in Paradise, safe with Jesus, while he and all the departed Christ believers await the final eternal reward on the New Heaven/New Earth. And he is no longer suffering a terrible chronic illness, but his soul is in blissful rest in the presence of Christ in Paradise (temporary heaven, where Christ is now). The Apostle Paul explained that when we believers die, before Christ’s second coming, that we are absent from our bodies but present with the Lord. Not asleep but present with the Lord. And after Christ’s return for judgment day, He will give each of His own believers a perfect, resurrection body, in perfect health forever. That is something for believers to find peace and joy in. And it is a word to unbelievers, that this truth and peace and confidence is available for whosoever will come. “Coming to Jesus” etc. have often become a mockery and a joke in our present culture–it is rampant on secular television shows now. I’m sure I come across that way to many of my family members, friends, and readers. But, it is no joke. Someday the truth of the importance of right standing with God through faith in Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross for sinners will be known by everyone as they see Christ at his second return for judgment. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus, the Bible says. But then it will be too late to believe. The time to believe is now, before death, and before the second coming of Jesus. Oh friend, dear reader, do you know Him? He is wonderful. He is our only hope.
So here are some thoughts about the hard topic of death on my heart to share for Christ this evening.
- Why would we even cry and grieve and feel so sad at the death of a loved one if each person did not have an eternal soul? Obviously God designed humans to detest separation from loved ones. We even grieve over a loss of beloved animal. We were even meant to be in fellowship/enjoyment with animals in the original paradise I believe (Adam and Eve before the Fall) and how much more our beloved fellow humans, all of us created in God’s image? Death reminds me that there is an eternal life and we’d all better be ready to meet our Maker. Death reminds me of the terrible impact of The Fall.
- The sadness and separation and concern for the deceased’s loved ones left behind remind me of the acute importance and worth of every human soul and how many, many lives are touched by each person’s life. I hate death and separation. I hate the enemy and my own sin which is the cause of death and The Fall. May God cause this passionate hatred of The Fall and death to help me turn from my own terrible sinfulness and cause me to make the best use of my time while I have it.
- What a gift to leave your loved ones with them knowing you believed in Jesus by grace, and though you were so imperfect and still sinful, you loved God, and were ready to meet God in your eternal destiny. What a horrible legacy to leave your loved ones not knowing whether you truly believed in God or seeing you live your life in rebellion and rejection of Jesus Christ. What is your legacy to your loved ones? How will your loved ones grieve the loss of you when you die?
- Though it is impossible over a long lifetime to stay in close touch with every single person you have known and loved, and it is easy to lose track of important, significant people from your past, what a reminder this person’s death is to me that I should do my best to keep in touch with loved ones, at least in some small way, and to let them know while they are still alive that their life meant so much to me and that God used them in my life. Who does God want you (and me) to encourage today or reach out to today? Life is short and opportunities are quickly gone.
- My lack of contact with this person from my past was caused in part by geography but mostly because I left a church in a non-peaceful way. Oh how terrible is disunity in Christ’s universal church and local churches. How I regret it. I personally am now on my fourth local church since committing my life to Christ at age 29. I’ve left three churches because of disunity and other “issues”. Two of these church separations were caused by non-peaceful disunity. There has been division that caused loss of friendships. I am reminded to pray more for unity in my present local church, in the universal church, and to be doing my part to keep unity by my own personal obedience to the Bible. Oh may God have mercy on our churches when we fail. I thank God He has helped me persevere in being a part of a local Bible church, despite these disappointments and hurts. Being a part of a Christ centered Bible church is not optional for believers, but it is commanded in scripture. And staying in touch with and persevering in being at peace with all the people we can is so important. We believers are all going to be together in eternity forever, those of us who truly believe. Oh may God help me to truly love rightly all my fellow family in Christ and keep me praying for unity God. If any readers are among those people from my past churches, please know you are loved, prayed for, and cared about, and I look forward to that beautiful day when we will all finally live in perfect fellowship with Christ on the New Earth. Please forgive any of my youthful error and foolishness or if I was wrong in the way I left our former church.
- I think everyone, including strong Christ followers, are a little bit afraid of death. We mostly manage to just stay in denial about the inevitability of death. Personally I am most afraid of bearing up on whatever sickness and difficulties aging will bring before my death than of death itself. But I do really, really believe that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for my sin on the cross and that God’s righteous wrath against my sinfulness was satisfied by Jesus on the cross. I am still a terrible sinner and my practical progressive sanctification process is SLOW, which discourages me and sometimes causes me some doubt, but then I remember Hebrews 4:14-16 and I go to the Father through Jesus with repentance, confidently. He is my hope and the only reason I do not have to fear my own death.
- Nobody likes to talk about death. I don’t know why I am wired to think of these things and why I feel the compulsion and call to write about it. I realize many of my family and friends and readers think my writings are strange and that I “preach too much”. I am not an Apostle like Paul. I am not a pastor or any kind of an important person. I am just a sick, aging woman with a very small circle of influence. But I do love the gospel/good news of Jesus AND I AM NOT ASHAMED OF IT (Romans 1) even though it alienates me from some people. I hope and pray God might see fit to use my little life to help another soul along the way. And I believe it is loving to warn others of the truth of the bad news, that God will righteously judge unrepentant sinners. Please see my other blog posts that explain the gospel, such as Bad News/Good News. Reader, please consider it.
- This life is NOT all there is! Death is not an ending but it is either a great or terrible new beginning. What will we choose?
- How can we communicate our love and encourage the people in our lives today while we still have the opportunity?
- To every person in my life–from my husband and closest family members to my slightest acquaintances–I genuinely care for you and pray for you. May God’s best and perfect will be done in each of your lives. May God shine His Holy Spirit call deeply onto each one of us, including readers I don’t even know, and may God help many more to believe in Jesus and live well by His grace. May God help us all live with no fear of death, but the sure hope of eternal life.