Fearless Before Death

Tombstone

Are You Afraid to Die?

You are going to die.

Even worse: You have no idea when you will die.

You should have a healthy respect for those facts, but it should not be a consuming fear, if you are a faithful Christian. If you are not a faithful Christian, it ought to scare you. A lot.

The Lost

“Lost” means many things to our culture. So does “saved”. So let’s define terms. Those people who are lost are those who “do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). People fit this category if they do not believe that Jesus is who He claims to be: God in the flesh, the Messiah. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

“Lost” is also a term designating an eternal separation. This is called the “second death” in Revelation 20:14. It is described as eternal fire. It amounts to a separation from God. Imagine that for a moment if you dare. What would it be like to be separated from every single thing that is good and pure? If you fit this category, you should be afraid, but let it lead you to God to remedy it.

The “saved” are those who avoid this eternal punishment and are allowed to enter the presence of God for eternity. It’s really better than that. It is far more than avoiding something horrifying (as if that were not good enough). It also includes tremendous blessings and joy. (See  1Peter 1:3-5 for an example of this promised blessing.)

Christians

Contrary to popular opinion, not everyone who thinks they are going to Heaven are actually going to go. Many will actually go to Hell. The Day of Judgment will be a surprise to many. It is unfortunate, but true. Jesus Himself taught that fact.

In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

What is it that separates those who think they are going to Heaven from those who will go to Heaven?

Faithfulness. Translation: Obedience out of faith and love for God.

No, we’re not talking about obedience that comes from an arrogant attitude. Anyone who thinks that doing good deeds justifies his past, present, and future sins ought to have his head examined. If you do good, it is no more than what God already expects from you. Do you really think it earns you brownie points that cancel out sins?

What would we say about a judge if he allowed a murderer to go free because the murderer listed to the judge all the charitable things he did in his lifetime? That is called injustice. Do you suppose God would be unjust?

At the same time, however, it is equally ridiculous to think that we can live however we want to live because God’s grace will continue to cover it. Paul addressed that in Romans 6:1-2. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

If you are not living a life of faithful obedience, you ought to be very afraid of death.

The Fearless

Jesus came to take away the fear of death by destroying the one who had the power of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).

John said that we can KNOW that we are right with God (1 John 5:13). Look at the things you believe. Do they match what the Bible teaches? Look at the things you do. Do they match what the Bible teaches? No, you will not be perfect, nor will your circumstances be perfect. But you can be faithful. How? Love God and keep His commandments. That’s the 10,000 foot view. How you accomplish that is a little more detailed.

Peter said it clearly in Acts 2:38. “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

That brings us into a new relationship with God–one that Jesus called a “new birth” in John 3:3-5.

After you enter this relationship, you start to live by your confession and repentance. You begin to grow and change by renewing your mind, learning to think differently. And as you notice sin in your life, you go to God and ask Him to forgive you. This is a promised blessing: that we can be forgiven! See 1 John 1:7-9 for more details.

Those who fall into the category of “faithful” should NOT fear death for any reason! It is merely an opportunity to go home.

I hope you believe that and will strengthen your faith, so that you can escape the bondage that comes with the fear of death.

 

 

About Jason Sparks

I am passionate about spreading the Gospel. God has blessed me with a wife and two children. I have been preaching full time since graduating Brown Trail School of Preaching in June, 1999 and also have an MA from University of Phoenix.

View all posts by Jason Sparks

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: