“Those who died yesterday had plans for this morning. And those who died this morning had plans for tonight. Don’t take life for granted. In the blink of an eye everything can change. So, forgive often and love with all your heart. You may never get to have that chance again.”
We do not like to talk about death. Perhaps if we ignore it, it will go away. But then we are so vividly reminded that death is a part of life! We lose loved ones unexpectedly. Hearts are broken, tears are shed, and yet, life goes on. We cannot deal with its reality; we do not talk about it; we hope it isn’t true. But it is!
Consider some passages that talk about our death. We do not do this to be morbid, or to cause some to be depressed – we look at these to remind us of our mortality and remind us of the fact that we always need to be prepared for when our time comes. Consider . . .
We can be fearless in the face of death. In Psalms 23:4 the Psalmist said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Death is portrayed as a shadow, not reality. When God is with us, evil is not there! God is there to comfort us if we will but let him.
In Psalms 116:15 the psalmist wrote, “Precious is the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” For the Lord who love his saints, death is a time to go home and be with the Lord. Do we consider this as we face death in our lives, or lose a loved one? Do we consider how important it is that we be one of his saints, one of his chosen ones?
In Proverbs 14:32 the wise man wrote, “The wicked is banished in his wickedness, but the righteous has a refuge in his death.” That refuge is God! Who better to entrust our souls to than God Himself?
In the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16, Jesus tells of, a rich man who was wealthy, and a beggar who was laid at the gate of the rich. It is of interest to consider that the rich man is unnamed; the poor man was Lazarus. Perhaps the Lord wanted all to know that Lazarus had as much right to be dignified by humans by naming the poor beggar, while the rich man was unnamed. When both died, the roles that they had on earth were reversed. Luke 16:22 states, “So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. . . . Abraham later said, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented.”
Paul stated in Romans 14:8 For if we live, we live unto the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For the Christian, we live for the Lord, and if necessary, we die for the Lord. The Lord owns us because we have been bought by his blood. So we, in life or in death, belong to the Lord. For the Christian that are some of the most comforting words we can imagine. When we have our disagreements on this earth, we need to remember that all our brothers and sisters in Christ belong to the Lord as well. WE WILL HAVE
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DISAGREEMENTS, but they are still our brothers and sisters in Christ. WE ALL BELONG TO THE LORD. What comfort when it comes to death!
We need to always be prepared – for none of us know when we will pass away. Where will you spend eternity – with the Lord who has given us the only means to be saved through faith and obedience to Christ, or will we spend eternity in hell? The choice is ours!
“Life is a marvelous gift of divine grace. Life is so precious that God said, “Whoso sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God he made man.” (Genesis 9:6). However, nothing is more common to life than death, Ever since God said, “you shall surely die,” man has been preoccupied with death.
“DEATH IS A POWER. It is so powerful that no man can escape it. “The way of all the earth” (Joshua 23:14) is the way of death, for “it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27). If a man possessed the wisdom of Solomon and the strength of Samson, he could not ward off the advancing hand of death.”
“DEATH IS A MYSTERY.” Many things about life are mysterious. David marveled at the inscrutable nature of conception and growth in the womb (Psalms 139:13-15). The ability of the mind to think, reason and remember is an unfathomable thing. And yet, nothing about life is as mysterious as death, one can be alive and well one moment and lying still in death the next: in time today, in eternity tomorrow. No living man has walked through the gates of death and unleashed its secrets (Job 38:17).
“DEATH IS IMPARTIAL. It is impervious to age. Death will invade the womb, crib, playpen, school, factory and nursing home. Wealth is of no concern to death. The pauper cannot beg off because of his poverty and the millionaire cannot buy off because of his wealth. Death is insensible to one’s social status. Social prominence impresses life, but not death.
“DEATH IS A TRAGEDY FOR THE UNPREPARED. Sin is man’s problem, calvary is God’s remedy and gospel obedience is the means of appropriating God’s provision of grace to the soul. Faithful adherence to the divine will insulates the soul from the condemnation of sin. The world is immersed in tragedy. However, the apex of tragedy will be to stand before God, having rejected the gospel or having reverted to the ways of the world.
“DEATH IS A BLESSING FOR THE FAITHFUL. It is so wonderful that no brush can portray it, no pen can depict it and no tongue can describe it. Death for the Christian is a beginning, not an end; an entrance, not a closed door; a blessing, not a curse. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21). Are you prepared for death?
Frank Chesser via Dasher Church of Christ
DOES IT ALL END HERE?
“The graveyard is a place of sadness for all of us. On most occasions we go there to lay to rest the mortal remains of some loved one. It is also a place where all of us will be taken after we draw our last breath. But is the grave the final resting place for the dead? Does it all end here?
“The Bible gives a clear and resounding NO to this question. The grave is not the final home for our departed friends and loved one. The Scriptures teach two great truths concerning death. First, the spirits of the dead go on to a place of waiting for judgment. Second, all the dead will be raised to face judgment on the final day.
The basic definition of death is separation. Physical death takes place when the spirit is separated from the body. The body goes to the grave. Where does the spirit go? Happily, the Bible tells us. In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus tells us that two individuals died. One was righteous and one was wicked. The righteous man died and was carried to a place called “Abraham’s bosom.” The wicked man died and lifted his eyes in torments. Here were the spirits of a good man and a wicked man that had been separated from their bodies. The bodies were buried but the spirits went on to a place of waiting.
When Jesus was on the cross, he promised the penitent thief that he would be with Christ in Paradise that very day (Luke 23:43). Christ was not to return to heaven for forty days later. To what place where Jesus and the thief going on the day of crucifixion? They were going to that intermediate place of the dead that Jesus spoke of as “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22).
Secondly, we know that the graveyard is not the end of our existence because the Bible promises that someday we will be raised up to possess a new incorruptible body that will live forever. Jesus tells us that there will be a day in which ALL OF THE DEAD will be raised up to be judged (John 5:28-29). This theme is repeated in Revelation 20:12-15. All will live on either in heaven or in eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). Death is only the beginning for us all. If we “died in the Lord” death is a blessed event (Revelation 14:13). Death is not an escape but is instead the sealing of our fates if we are unprepared (Hebrews 9:27). Are you ready?
Grady Scott Jr.