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Death For Believers. 451. May7, 2023

Updated: May 12, 2023



The great American statesman Benjamin Franklin said, "In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes!"

What else do they have in common besides the certainty of each? They are both safety nets.


Taxes and Death are hard to get used to. While we have governments, there will always be taxes. And despite seeing waste, we also see infrastructure and services. We get used to taxes, but death is different. It's something we don't get used to.


Someone once said, "Why do we have to die? As a kid, you get nice little white shoes with white laces and a velvet suit with short pants and a nice collar, and then you go to school, then you meet a nice girl and get married, work a few years, and then you have to die!"


It's the finality—the permanency— of death we wrestle with.


Taxes bring enough pain, but the benefits mostly soothe the pain. Conversely, death's pain is so deep at the time we think it will never leave. We feel our heart is torn beyond repair as if Satan himself had gouged it to shreds.


People are trying not to die.

One of the new gods of the rich and famous is the cold world of cryogenics. The operators of Stasis Research Park, Comfort, Texas, the Ark of the Immortals, say they can cryogenically hold 50,000 bodies, freeze them, then wake them when scientists have discovered better cures for their ailments. Maybe they got that thought from Groucho Marx, who said, "I intend to live forever, or die trying."


But death without Christ —Cryogenic or not IS HELL.


I recently delivered the main eulogy at an old friend's funeral. I was not allowed to speak of Christ. It was easy to find beautiful things to say about his life, as he was exceptionally talented. He was one of those blokes who didn't let much outsmart him. Sooner or later, he'd figure it out. In that regard, he was easy to look up to.

His Sister later asked me about my wife and particularly my son and whether I had brought him up to be a Christian. I replied with a smile, "Absolutely!"


She said, "Did you give him a choice as a kid to make his own decision?"


"What, a choice between heaven and hell?" NO!


People think they live without God, not realising they are only alive due to His mercy and grace.


We must see that life is short and uncertain. The Apostle James confronts us with some realities in James 4:14b. "What is your life? You are a vapour that appears for a little while and then vanishes."


Think about how quickly a vapour appears and then leaves the surrounding air. LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) is a vapour that expands 250 times, taking over the atmosphere. Like LPG, we might make a big impression on our stage. But again, like LPG, we drift away as if we'd never been.


We MUST make sure we're important to God. We do that by accepting God's terms of Salvation through Jesus Christ, as He is the only approach offered!


2 Peter 3:10 states that in the Day of the Lord the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.


It all passes away, just like we do.


This marvellous earth that supports life loses its own life and ceases to exist. The Sun, Moon and stars, which give us light, also expire, along with their surrounding heavens. These gods of so many religions extinguish as if they had never been. What, then, is the point of worship? Why seek the comfort of cryogenics when there may be nothing to wake up to?


An essential factor all people must know AND understand about themselves is that the soul is far more valuable than the physical body. Christians know that in theory but struggle with the application.


WHAT MAGNIFICENCE AWAITS THE BELIEVER

REV 21:3-5 says this about the new heaven and new earth.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.


And God shall

  • Wipe away all tears from their eyes; (think about the extent of this)

  • And there shall be no more death, (no more profound sense of loss)

  • Neither sorrow, (How many times per week do you experience sorrow)

  • Nor crying, (Consider the amount of crying the world has done since the garden expulsion)

  • Neither shall there be any more pain: (How many different types of pain have you experienced? Physical, emotional, even in the anguish of deep prayer for the lost?)

  • For the FORMER things are passed away. (We are living in the FORMER life now!)

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make ALL THINGS NEW. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.


TWO BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLES OF THE DEATH AND LIFE OF BELIEVERS

1. Francis Ridley Havergal. The writer and singer of so many great hymns, including Take My Life and Let It Be, died at the young age of 42. In her sister's memoir was this account.


"She looked steadfastly as if she saw the Lord. Surely nothing less heavenly could have reflected such a glorious radiance upon her face. For ten minutes we watched that almost invisible meeting with er King, and her countenance was so glad, as if she were already talking to Him! Then she tried to sing, but after one sweet high note—the word HE—her voice failed and her brother commended her soul into the redeemer's hand."


3. Ernie Archbold: Nobody famous, but a great help to my Dad and Mum. A health fanatic who lived a simple life, a person his family rejected, died in hospital. My family gathered around the bed containing Ernie's limp and expired body. Suddenly, he sat up and raised his hands and eyes joyfully to the sky, his face covered with excitement. Then his body fell back dead. He saw the angels coming to take him home, and they did!


Psalm 39:4

Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.


PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for life. Please help me consider the measure of my days and how frail I am, and the make sure I am bound for the death of a believer.

Photo by Adrianna Geo

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