BOOK OF GOD'S PROMISES
Overcoming the Fear of Death
J. Stephen Lang
-- Most of us fear death, don't we? We may say we believe in eternal
life, in a heaven that is a life of bliss, a life much better than this world.
But we act as if we fear death, and our actions speak louder than our words.
We act only slightly different from people who claim to have no belief at all
in heaven and hell.
Isn't it amazing that, centuries ago, Christians sometimes
celebrated a believer's funeral as his "birthday," the person's entry day into
heaven? They celebrated because they really believed it was so.
to go back to the Bible. It reminds us many times that nothing, not even death,
can snatch God's people from him.
Even when I walk through the dark valley
of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of death.
He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all
"God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
"As to whether there will be a resurrection of the dead -- haven't
you ever read about this in the Scriptures? Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
had died, God said, `I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of
Jacob.' So he is the God of the living, not the dead."
can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven."
"All who believe in God's Son have eternal life. Those who don't
obey the Son will never experience eternal life, but the wrath of God remains
"I assure you, those who listen to my message and
believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for
their sins, but they have already passed from death into life."
anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves
if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in
danger or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory
is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever
separate us from his love. Death can't, and life can't. The angels can't, and
the demons can't. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the
powers of hell can't keep God's love away.
Romans 8:35, 37-38
Let me tell
you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we
will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye,
when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who
have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will
be transformed so that we will never die. For our perishable earthly bodies must
be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.
When this happens
-- when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies
that will never die -- then at last the Scriptures will come true: "Death is swallowed
up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"
1 Corinthians 15:51-55
To me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better.
Yet if I live, that means fruitful service for Christ. I really don't know which
is better. I'm torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to live, and sometimes
I long to go and be with Christ.
Because God's children
are human beings -- made of flesh and blood -- Jesus also became flesh and blood
by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only
by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. Only
in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to
the fear of dying.
I saw a great white throne, and I saw
the one who was sitting on it. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing
before God's throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And
the dead were judged according to the things written in the books, according to
what they had done. The sea gave up the dead in it, and death and the grave gave
up the dead in them. They were all judged according to their deeds. And death
and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death -- the
lake of fire. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life
was thrown into the lake of fire.
See also Eternal Life, Heaven/Hell, Hope.
Steps to Peace with God
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The Book of God's Promises -- Copyright, 1999 by J.
Stephen Lang. All rights reserved, used with permission.
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