Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No Fear in Death...

Fear of Death

It is easy to fear many things. It took me 20 minutes to get the courage up to jump off the zip-line tower. Even though I was harnessed, with a heavy-duty harness I might add, to a strong cable that I had seen several people zip down and it looked like great fun. Still. I was chicken.

How much more scary would it have been if I couldn't see the harness, or the cable,

or the people who zipped before me. Maybe I’d see them on the tower, and then off they went into utter blackness. Then somebody looks at me and says “your turn.”

I don’t think so!

And yet, the day comes for all of us to leave the tower. We can’t put it off indefinitely. It would make sense to get to know the Zip-line operator really, really well. Is he a nice guy? Can you trust him? Would he do anything to hurt the person who placed their undying trust in him for a good zip ride? These are things I’d like to know.
So we’re really talking about death right? We’re gonna follow others “into the dark.” And if it wasn’t so dark it may not be so scary. I mean, what’s going to happen in the dark?

1. There’s the whole heaven and hell question. Nobody is afraid of Heaven, but, well, You know…
2. Then there’s the whole, “is there really life after death anyway?”
3. Then there’s the “will I be sentient if somehow we are alive after death? Will we know who we are and who others are? Might there be something between Heaven and Hell that is like nothingness.

And this just scratches the surface of what people think about when they think of death. Any of us might have a very unique view of what may lay on “the other side.”

Paul dealt with some who didn’t quite believe there was anything after death:
1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ raised from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Think of resurrection from the dead here as part of the whole” life after death package.” If there is no life after death (including resurrection) Then Jesus had no life after death. But we believe He did and does! But, if He didn't we’d still be lost in sin and have no hope for the future either!
Well, Jesus is the zip-line tower operator – in a sense. Do you trust him?
Jesus told His disciples, John 14:2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Now there are some things that Jesus told the disciples that were just for the disciples. But there are other things that were for them and for those who would believe in Christ after them. (Jn 17:20) Based on all we learn from the letters to the apocalypse, Jesus has a plan for His people after death.
What one needs is A) Assurance that one is In Christ and B) Trust Christ to keep His promises.

Now just saying, “trust better” doesn’t help much. But, as you grow in grace and faith, the fear of death and the unknown can be absorbed in the love of Christ. As trust grows, fear weakens.  But we need to grow. We need to make a conscious choice to follow hard after Jesus.

After all, he runs the zip-line.