“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” -Philippians 1:21
Are You Afraid to Die?
The word “death” sounds so final when you say it.
In our politically correct world, we attempt to soften it by saying someone “passed away” or “passed on.”
An atheist might say you die, and that’s it. You’re dead, period.
An agnostic might say, “I don’t know where we go when we die. But if there’s a God and heaven is real, then I think I’m a good enough person to go to heaven.”
A Muslim would say if my good deeds outweigh my bad deeds, Allah will bless me with an eternal paradise.
A Buddhist might say my ultimate goal is Nirvana.
A Mormon could say, when I get to heaven, I’ll keep working until I’m more like God.
But the Bible says, in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it’s appointed for men to die once, but after that the judgment.”
Can You be at Peace About Death During Your Lifetime on Earth?
Guaranteed we’re all going to die someday. And yet we deny it, live on the extreme as if we can “cheat death.”
Or conversely, you might fear it and decide not to extend yourself at all. You end up missing out on the adventure this life holds.
But for the Apostle Paul, his life was identified with Christ. His life was wholly devoted to the gospel.
He was bound by the things of God. His burden was to preach Christ and Him crucified.
Death to Paul was just a delay until he could be with Christ.
In the delay, however, he knew he could serve others best by preaching Christ. He knew that anything he accomplished in this life was “rubbish” compared to gaining Christ (Philippians 3:8)
Now compare Paul’s life to yours. Too many of us “American Christians” are waiting for the easy way out.
“Lord just rapture me now and get me out of here!”
But what did Jesus tell you to do in the Parable of the Minas in Luke 19? He said, “occupy” or “do business, till I come.”
Are You Busy About Your Father’s Business?
All of us are born on a given date. All of us will die on a certain date.
It’s the time in the middle that’s important. Will you make it count?
What are you living for?
Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994) was a Christian evangelist and author who focused on the subjects of prayer and revival.
He’s best known for challenging the modern church to compare itself to the early Christian Church as written about in the Book of Acts.
Through his teaching and books, Ravenhill addressed the differences he perceived between the New Testament Church and the Church in his time. He ended up calling for a return to the principles of biblical revival. (Source)
Notice above the inscription on Ravenhill’s tombstone, “ARE THE THINGS YOU ARE LIVING FOR WORTH CHRIST DYING FOR?”
What a timeless question this man asks literally from his grave.
Is anything you and I living for worth Christ dying for? It’s truly a matter of priorities, maturity, and perspective.
When you were in the world, you lived for the weekends and recreation. When you’re totally oblivious to the things of God, your focus is on self-gratification.
But as a follower of Jesus Christ, you’re called to be heavenly minded. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
- Devotional life is consistent and deep
- Relationships are loving and caring
- Ministry is fulfilling and active
Then you’re in a position to “occupy” and do God’s business.
It’s a commitment no doubt. It’s not easy, certainly. But it’s the place you’ll find peace with God, contentment, and love.
In other words, when you’re walking with God and seeking His perfect will in your life, it’s a constant drive that dominates your thinking and behavior.
So What Dominates Your Thinking Right Now?
Usually, it’s money, relationships, work or school that consumes your thinking. Or it may be your physical health and the fear of death that’s screaming at you.
If you are thinking any of these things right now, then STOP!
Ask God’s Holy Spirit to break the chains of worry and doubt that have put you in bondage.
Bring the Lord into the things that are distracting you from a loving relationship with God and trust Him in the fear.
Remember His perfect love casts out all fear.
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
So are you afraid to die?
Several years ago, before I became a Christian, I was in a mortuary watching my dad say goodbye to his mom.
I was sitting in a very long rectangular room. At one end was a bench where I was watching my dad say goodbye to Grandma.
As he was respectfully addressing her, a sense of peace came over me. It was the same feeling I experienced when my son was born.
I believe it was God gently telling me that death is nothing to fear. It was like God was saying that death is a natural part of life.
Once I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I understood this great gift and how He conquered death. It reveals how you can have peace in your eternal security with Him.
Or, do you just not want to think about death?
What does the Bible say we should think about?
Philippians 4:8 says:
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
How Can You Think Lovely Thoughts When You’re Worried?
1. Don’t Worry By Following The Advice in These Verses
First of all, you know you’re called not to worry.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Worry is a direct result of not trusting God. But faith is the fruit of knowing how much God loves you and has a plan for your life.
2. Rejoice in Christ’s Victory at the Cross
Second, you rejoice in Christ because your Savior conquered death at the cross.
1 Corinthians 15:55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” This is why we worship Jesus.
3. Remember That Your Hope is in Christ
Jesus is preparing a place for you in heaven.
John 14:2 says, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
It’s your hope in heaven that helps you overcome any fear you have of death.
Again look at life through the Apostle Paul’s perspective.
As he was inspired by the Holy Spirit, he proclaimed his position on living in this world compared to living eternally with Christ.
Paul says in Philippians 1:23, “For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.”
So whether you are in this world now or living in eternity, either way it is “far better” to be with Christ than to fear death, Amen?