Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Facing Death

Death is not a pleasant subject to contemplate.  But sometimes we need to face reality. We live in a society that wants to pretend it does not exist. We use all sorts of methods to stay fit and remain healthy, in hopes of delaying death. We use all manner of cosmetic accessories or surgery to look younger. But life remains nearly 100% fatal. (For the two Biblical exceptions, it had nothing to do with their attempts to remain healthy and fit.) Living in denial does not help. But there is One who has conquered death (1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Romans 1:6; Revelation 1:18) and who offers to do the same for those who put their faith in Him (John 14:19; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; Romans 8:11). Sin, death, and hell are 100% curable, if you have the right physician.

Now death is the result of sin coming into the world (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Genesis 3:17-19), and we are all sinners (Romans 3:23; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6). But Jesus Christ has paid the full price for our sin (1 Peter 2:24,25; Colossians 2:13,14; 2 Corinthians 5:21) and offers salvation to all who put their faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 4:4,5; Philippians 3:9). This results in God working in our life to transform us (2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:29), not we may earn something from God, but out of love for Him for a salvation already received (1 John 4:19; Titus 2:11-14; 2 Corinthians 5:14,15). 

For those who put their faith in Christ, it is possible for them to have hope in spite of death (Romans 8:18-26; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 14:1-3). Now death is not an easy thing to face for anyone. That was brought home to me in a new way recently, when my wife and I were diagnosed with cancer. But Christians can face this with an assurance of their ultimate destiny (1 John 5:11-13; John 10:27-30; Romans 8:31-29). Further, we can avoid being conformed  to this world (1 John 2:15,16; James 4:4) if we recognize our life here is only temporary  (2 Peter 3:10-13; Matthew 6:19-21; 1 John 2:17). As a result, we should see ourselves as strangers and sojourners on the earth and behave accordingly (Philippians 3:20,21; 1 Peter  2:11,12; Hebrews 11:13). Also, we need to recall the brevity of our lives (Psalm 90:3-8; James 4:13-16; Isaiah 40:6-8) so that we may make careful use of our time (Psalm 90:12; Ephesians 5:15,16; Romans 13:11-14). And to do this, we must trust in God rather than our own abilities (Proverbs 3:5,6; Psalm 127:1,2; 37:3-6). Therefore, looking at our death is a good thing if it is done through the lens of trust in the God who has conquered it.

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