How long, LORD? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire? Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all humanity! Who can live and not see death, or who can escape the power of the grave? Lord, where is your former great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David? Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations, the taunts with which your enemies, LORD, have mocked, with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one. Praise be to the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.
In my office is a Time magazine with the cover story, “How to Die.” The story, written by Joe Klein, describes the last days in the lives of his mom and dad. I have no problem with the topic but I do find it strange that this article is explaining how to die without addressing what happens next. OK, maybe I don’t find that strange…just sad.
Scripture is clear that everyone is going to die. The writer of Hebrews tells us that it is appointed unto men once to die (Hebrews 9:27). No one has power over the day of his death (Ecclesiastes 8:8). Death is indeed the destiny of every man (Ecclesiastes 7:2). Scripture is also clear that death is not final. Following death, judgment comes (Hebrews 9:27), and for the believer the judge is our Savior who paid the penalty of our sin and is there to welcome us home.
If you are walking through the last days with someone you love I encourage you to talk openly and honestly about Jesus. Let them know how much He loves them. Let them know that He died for their sins on the cross. Use the time to explain how they can know Him and be sure of what happens when they close their eyes in death. Let’s not leave it to magazine articles to teach us how to die. God’s Word is the only place where we find the promise of eternal life. Here are some passages to read and reflect on.
Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die….”
Father, even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we don’t have to fear. Thank You for being with us and giving us courage and comfort. Thank You for carrying us over the bridge that leads from death to life. Thank You in Jesus’ name. Amen.