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Dealing With Our Problems Biblically: Fear of Death, Part 6

June 10, 2015

Grace to you! The fear of death can be overwhelming. We’ve addressed many of the reasons we fear death, but one big fear remains. We inherently know what it is even if we don’t openly admit it.

What is that fear? It’s that we know when we die we will face God in judgment. “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) We know this is true: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31) Why? Because “God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29) God’s holiness will not wink at our rebellion we have done. God will righteously judge all our sin: what we’ve done, what we’ve not done and should have done, and what we’ve thought about! What person can face death without fear knowing they will meet God with all the sin they’ve committed? None.

This is a legitimate reason to fear death! So what is one to do? We can’t run from death. It comes calling for all of us. And we can’t run from the presence and knowledge of God! “7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in the grave, you are there!” (Psalm 139:7-8) There is nowhere for us to hide from God. So what can we do? Shall we just despair until we face God in judgment? Praise God, there is a wonderful answer for us!

How can a sinner be accepted by God? How can a person who has done wrong be made right with God? This is the wonderful news of the gospel. God did for us in His Son Jesus Christ what we could not do for ourselves. First, Jesus took the penalty of our sin. “God made Christ who knew no sin to become sin…” (2 Corinthians 5:21a) Jesus was punished as if He committed my sins. Second, Jesus perfectly obeyed the Father where I disobeyed the Lord. Jesus “knew no sin” so that He could put His righteousness on my account as if I had obeyed perfectly. “…so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) So the good news is this: Jesus died in my place to pay for my sins and He also lived an obedient life to give me His righteousness. It’s a double trade! Jesus gets my sin and I get His righteousness! So how does this happen? I simply receive it as a free gift from God. I admit my sin and need for Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross. I turn from my sin and living for myself to commit my life to Christ who died and rose again on my behalf! Now when I face death there is no fear of judgment from God because God’s love for me in Christ has satisfied God’s holy demands on my life. Jesus is my righteousness!

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