Christians have said to me, “I am not afraid of death. But how I get there concerns me.” The Apostle Paul wrote to those who have understood the Gospel and made the decision to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior:
2 Corinthians 5:8 “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”
We believers in Jesus Christ have God’s guarantee that when we leave this earthly body by whatever means, we will be instantly in Heaven with Him. “absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
My Sweetheart wife read me a short piece from a book that I thought was appealing and appropriate. John and Betty Stam were missionaries with China Inland Missions in 1931. Betty’s favorite verse was Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” They were captured by the Chinese Communists and as they knelt side by side, they were decapitated for their faith in Christ. (Yes, the Islamo-Fascists are not the only ones who behead Christians).
This poem and the story of the Stams was published in the book “Women Who Loved God” by Elizabeth George.
Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit’s glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace,
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid — of that?
By author Rev. E. H. Hamilton, missionary of the China Inland Mission
I believe this is a false teaching for sure. One site I found on it was using various people in the Bible as examples then attempting to deduce this principle from those examples. They also mentioned “saving grace” and other things that seemed wrong in the way they were defined. I agree with David and don’t see anything that would actually support this view.
Nowhere in the Scriptures do I see such a teaching Holly. Just sounds like more of man’s so-called wisdom that litters the landscape of truth to make the real thing harder to locate. Praise God for His Word and His Spirit that can help a genuinely seeking soul find the truth even with all this mess. No, I’ve never heard of this one personally but I must say it doesn’t surprise me.
Jack, Bruce, John or Jim, others… I was asked a question of a teaching I have never heard. The person who shared it was relating what several women had told her about “dying grace” and how only mature believers will experience this and evidently a carnal believer or unbeliever has a terrifying death to look forward to (in a nutshell).
She knew enough to ask them for the Scriptures which I don’t believe they ever provided.
The comment back was, “his is solely reserved for the Spiritually Mature Believer, by the way. The Unbeliever and even the Reversionistic Believer will not experience Dying Grace, although the Reversionistic Believer will go to Heaven.”
Ever heard of this kind of teaching?
It is easier when one knows Christ and is aware of God’s Word and promises.
In Christ, ExP(Jack)
Those are very lovely sentiments and speak to a strong spiritual bravery that reaches past the fear of pain and the unknown.
The Lord promises His Grace in all circumstances for believers in Him — even unto death.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
It is only a shadow of death — and where there is a shadow, there is Light — Jesus, the Light of the World.
2 Cor. 12:9
And He [Christ] said unto me [Paul], “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
1 Cor. 10:13
There hath no temptation [testing] taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Rejoice in the eternal life we have in Christ and Let Him take care of our future!
I am one of those who has often said, I don’t fear being dead, just getting dead. That’s because taking off the earth-suit is rarely pain-free, and I hate pain. *sigh*
Most of us will not be martyred for our faith, and have to go the plain old way of most of mankind. There aren’t a lot of easy ways to do that. Dread of pain in death is much like the dread of pain in childbirth. I know the end is worth it, I know I can’t do anything to avoid it, I still dread it. And that’s the human condition unless one is given that great faith in martyrdom that transcends pain and fear.
Met you at another site. I appreciated your comments on the battle against Calvinism and Lordship Salvation. I also take a stand against both.
God bless you,
Thank you bro. Jack for the kindness. Coming from a man of your caliber (at least a .45 automatic!) it truly humbles me.
I think the more we study and believe God’s Word and promises, the easier it is for us to overcome any uncertainty.
Absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
1 John 5:13
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
When we truly KNOW our destination is Heaven then when absent the body, we will be with the Lord.. That not only sustains us but encourages us to read, believe and share God’s free gift of salvation.
We KNOW, thus we speak.
sorry for the typo–that should be real fear–not rear fear. Quite a difference. 🙂
I think for many people the unsettled feeling–the fear–comes from anticipating what is really unknown. I know it may be a cliche to suggest that the rear fear is that of the unknown, but I truly believe that is what it is. Even though we have the Word of God, it requires faith to accept it, and I suspect, within many people, may be a morsel of uncertainty.
Enjoyed the post very much.
God bless you and yours.
Thanks bro. David,
Appreciation goes both ways — I appreciate you for your solid stand on the clear Gospel.
In Christ eternally,
Awesome bro. Jack. So true. Also, so comforting in this day of rapidly increasing violence in general, not to mention against God’s people. He is ever-faithful, & I love HIm for it. I appreciate you & your stand for truth bro. Jack. God Bless.
Great comments and observations..
See ya in Heaven if not before..
In Christ eternally,
Amen to that, Bro. Jack! It is said that the martyrs, many times showed no sign of feeling the physical part of a hard death, they transcended it by the power of Christ in them.
This life and death last only a blink of the eye, Eternity and the weight of glory are a lot longer! 😉
Go back to Stephen in Acts, he pretty obviously felt no pain, my late didn’t either the last 2 days, so what is there to be afraid of? Scripture even says that precious in the Eyes of the Lord is the death of HIS saints…