I’ve never understood believers who are terrified of dying. I understand not wanting to die because you’d be leaving something unfinished, because your kids aren’t all grown and out of the house, or because you know your spouse would be lonely without you, so for their sake, you want to abide for a little while longer.
Fear though, terror at the thought of catching something randomly that may endanger your life somehow and thereby isolating yourself from everyone, living like a hermit, and dipping the nuggets the Uber Eats kid delivered in disinfectant before eating them, that I don’t understand. If you knew what that kid did to your nuggets before ringing the doorbell, you’d be doing shots of the sanitizer, but let’s pretend they’re all wholesome, well-adjusted teenagers that are just trying to earn their way through college by delivering fast food to people too lazy or fearful of getting out of their homes.
The promise of eternal life eliminates the fear of death. It doesn’t just tamp it down or diminish it; it eliminates it. We have a genuine and abiding hope in Christ and His promise that we would be where He went to prepare a place for us.
The fear of death no longer holds sway; it has lost its sting, and dread no longer has a place in the believer’s life. You’re not stepping into the unknown full of terror and misgivings about what will come. You’re going home into the arms of the one who loves you to the point of already having given His life for you.
Had they not had the hope and the promise of eternal life, do you believe men and women would have gone to their deaths while being burned alive singing hymns and songs of praise to God? If you want an eye-opening history lesson as to what the primary church went through as far as persecution is concerned and what some believers go through today, grab a copy of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and give it a read.
In order not to love your life unto death, you must possess hope and assurance in something beyond this life. If I have the promise of eternal life, what does it matter to me what men do to this flesh? If I know that to be absent from the body is to be one with Christ, what have I to fear?
This is why believers were so negatively impacted by certain pastors and elders when they were given the ultimatum to either put something into their bodies they didn’t want or be shunned and no longer be considered among the fellowship of the brethren. I get that Franklin Graham’s a big deal in certain circles, but I can’t just take his word that Jesus would have rolled up His sleeve for the likes of this administration or the man tasked with ensuring everyone got one.
As I explained to a friend recently, I don’t want to die, but I’m not afraid of death. I’ll be here for as long as God will have me, and not a minute longer, no matter how much I may try to extend my time here by eating seaweed and kale or whatever atrocious thing is en vogue this week.
I’m not about to dedicate more time than necessary to something I have no control over. It’s just ironic that a guy who subsists on a diet of black coffee and gas station grilled cheeses is outliving professional athletes half his age.
God made me a promise. The same promise He made you, and because I know Him and trust Him, there is not a flicker of doubt in my mind as to His ability to keep it. It’s good enough because He said it. I am not entitled to any special proof regarding God’s sincerity, nor would I require it.
The promise of eternal life is undeniable, as is its originator. No more need be debated on the topic because God’s promises are ironclad, and His ability to carry them out is indisputable.
If you are His sheep and know His voice and follow after Him, you trust Him without equivocation because you know His character, you know His nature, and you know His compassion. It’s those who do not hear, who do not follow, and who do not call Him Lord that need constant reassurance about something God said.
There is a three-year age gap between my daughters. Recently we were swimming at a pool when the youngest walked up to the edge of the pool, and I reached out my arms and said, “jump; daddy will catch you.”
“Are you sure?” she asked, “promise?”
“I promise, baby bear, I’ll catch you.”
She stood there biting her lip when her older sister said, “jump, he’ll catch you; he catches me all the time. Daddy will keep his word.”
Then she jumped, and I caught her because, as the older one pointed out, I am her dad, and I keep my word.
God is not a stranger trying to offer you candy to get you into his van. He is a loving Father who promised eternal life to those who abide in the truth. He doesn’t need to trick you, beguile you, or charm you. You’re not a child; you’re His child. If you are His child, then you already know you can trust Him and that eternal life is yours to lay hold of.
1 John 2:24-25, “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.”
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
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