Dealing with Death

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Sermon Link [Why not have a listen to the sermon?]

I heard a great truism once, which is you can tell a Christian by the way in which he lives, the way in which he loves and the way in which he dies.  And since a plethora of things have been written on Christian living and Christian loving I thought that I would use this opportunity to deal with the way in which a Christian deals with dying.    

 

1. Death is Inevitable

Firstly, the Christian recognises that death is inevitable for all for it is only the proud, the naïve and stupid that cannot and will not accept their own mortality or the mortality of others.  This means that the Christian should be one who accepts each day as a gift, keeps short accounts between others (and God), uses their life productively and does not take others for granted for they realise that their lives are “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14b

 

2. Death is Unnatural

Having declared the inevitability of death the reader must also understand that the Christian believes in the unnaturalness and unfairness of death.   This is because death is an intruder within the created order (Genesis ch3).  It is for this reason why death seems to take us by surprises; it shocks us and can even leave us seething with anger.  So let us never identify this “stiff-upper-lip” Western stoicism, as the Christian response to death for it could not be further from the truth.  If we are to imitate Christ then should we not mourn the loss of our loved ones (John 11:35), work against all the manifestations of death (1 John 3:8) and look forward to the day when death will be no more?

 

3.  Death has been Conquered

Finally, a biblical understanding of death teaches us that it should not be feared, for we know that God is in control and that He has purchased for us eternal life.  As Christians we recognise that while man is responsible and satan is hostile, all things are either determined or permitted by God and will be used for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).[1]  Therefore, we rest at peace in the providence of God and are fully confident of eternal life and the coming of a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1-4), which are guaranteed to us purely by His power and not by our own (John 10:25-29).

 

Conclusion

If we hold on to these truths then we can both live well and die well, boldly declaring with the apostle Paul, “O Death, where is thy sting?  O Grave, where is your victory?”  1 Corinthians 15:55.

 

 

[Matt Chandler is one of the great preachers in the world today.  He is wrestling with cancer and in the sermon jam speaks about dealing with death.]


[1] Even satan is unable to work outside of the pre-set boundaries given to him by God (Job ch 1-2).

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