Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thoughts on Death...

Recently I've been gathering some thoughts on death. It seems like around the funerals of our loved ones that we are faced to think about death, in our lives and in the lives of others, and I believe that this meditation upon death and what happens after it is a gift from God. I believe this because death is not something that any of us wants to think about, yet it is something that we will all face. Many men in this world are the best of planners, organizers, and strategists in many fields of work , yet all men are procrastinators when it comes to death. Who can prepare for it?Who can gird up for the unknown? What man can give assurance or write a book on "Ive been through death and let me show you how you can be ready?" None. Its almost as though people will accept Chist just on the terms of "death security"...and this I believe is partially wrong. Why? Because its selfish. Christ only becomes the juke move that gets you past the last defender and into the end zone....thats the mentality of the one who uses salvation to prepare for death. Convictions of death and the judgment are good, convictions of unpreparedness for death and the afterlife are even better, but it is only selfish ambition that takes these convictions and will do ANYTHING to soothe his soul and give him assurance. He would rather have Jesus than lose his soul, as one song says, and this is off because the real question is "If death wasnt an issue, would you still rather have Jesus?" If hell never existed, would you just as enthusiastically and just as joyfully treasure Christ and run into his arms? I believe that separates the wheat from the tares in this world because although we all have a fear of death, the one who recieves grace treasures Christ infinitely and death is no longer an issue. On the other hand the professor of faith fears death, sees Christ as a Savior from it, runs to Him, yet never treasures Him and continues treasuring the things of this life, and Christ is just a ticket to heaven. This is not to say that a person with such motives is not saved at all, but if he is saved...it will be only by fire. He will become a legalist, doing only what he thinks will keep him saved, and will keep his "ticket" from expiring. The one who has recieved grace is no longer afraid of death but realizes that death is only another weapon that shall not prosper against him.He realizes that death is just another pawn that serves the King of Kings in conforming His children into the infinitely worthy image of Christ. Death has no victory; Death CANNOT separate us from the love of Christ, and Death cannot take prisoner the one who believes on Christ. To think about death losing its sting against the one who Christ has purchased is to think about being struck by a sword with no edge....or a gun with silk bullets. The thought of being struck or shot is wearisome and grievious as is the thought of lesving this world and our loved ones; but the outcome of the action is painless and actually a pleasure because to live is Christ and to die is gain. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. God is glorified in our deaths when we show that even death is just a tool to make Christ look more glorious. Knowing these things is far more comforting that any comfort that the world can give. To know that a Sovereign God is in control of all and especially works for the good of His glory and the good of His people is a blessing that we can rest in . To know that our appointed time of death is in His complete control and that nothing in this universe can take us out without his loving and gracious permission is simply amazing. And to know that all things, even death only work to strengthen the golden chain of salvation so that those whom he forknew, He predestines, and those who He predestines He calls, those whom He calls He justifies, and those whom He justifies, He glorifies. Life, death, sickness, pain, pleasure, tribulations, blessings, powers, and principalities only serve to strengthen these effectual promises of God to those who believe. The world finds comfort in death with memories, pictures, stories, and writings...and these things are truly to be cherished, but the Christian can find comfort in knowing that the next time we see our loved ones they will appear with Christ, to never die again and they will be sinless, shining, not in earthly apparrel but in a white robe. They will be perfect, with no flaws or imperfections, totally Christlike and of one heart and mind with Christ.

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