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Dealing With Our Problems Biblically: Fear of Death, Part 1

April 28, 2015

Grace to you! This week we look at the most taboo of topics, the most dreadful, and fear evoking: death! One writer said, “Life is hard, then you die. Then they throw dirt in your face. Then the worms eat you! Be grateful it happens to you in that order!” Death is not something we like to talk about in our culture. With our focus on health, wealth, and beauty, death is obtrusive to our American ideals of life. But stats are hard to deny. 1 out of 1 people die. Ecclesiastes advises that it’s, “Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies and the living will take this to heart.” (Ecc. 7:2) In short, facing our own mortality is a wise thing to do. But it frightens us to do so. How can we overcome fear of death?

There are many reasons we fear death and scripture addresses each of them. Let’s look at them in the next few articles. The first reason we fear death is fear of the unknown. No one reading this has been through final death. No of us can say from experience we know what death is like. We seek to comfort ourselves at the loss of someone we know when we can say they died of natural causes. But this is not true. No one has ever died of natural causes. Why? Because the Lord made man to live forever. Only when man sinned in the Garden did death enter into reality as an invader and enemy. There is nothing natural about death in God’s intended design for mankind.

But we speak of death as something natural to try to comfort ourselves about this great unknown. Yet we can’t normalize it no matter what language we seek to use about it. It is the unknown that frightens us! So are we doomed till we die to be in the fear of the unknown surrounding death? No, we aren’t! One has died and came back from death to tell us good news!

Because Jesus had no sin of His own, “God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” (Acts 2:42) Here is the One who has conquered the unknown and offers us hope. He tells us some comforting words. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2) We don’t have to know all the unknowns; we need merely remember the words of the One who overcame death and who will be with us always. (See Matthew 28:20) Consider this: is it better to know all about death or to know the One who has defeated it? I’ll go with the One was ‘dead and is now alive forevermore” and says “Because I live, you shall also live.” (Rev. 1:17,18; John 14:19)

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