No More Fear of Death
Death and Fear
Recently I had a discussion with my fiancé about Heaven and what it is like. I also discussed with him about my past and the feelings I had about death and dying before I had come to know Christ as my savior. I grew up extremely terrified of death. I carried this throughout my life as it pops up in discussion or when I was lying in bed at night I would think about it and start to get really scared. My heart would beat really fast; I would not be able to sleep and would lay there in horror wishing the thoughts would just go away. I could not stand to even think about it, I would get this feeling of cold, evil, heaviness on me and I could see images of “ghosts” wandering in very dark places. If this happened to me when I was trying to go to bed, I would be up for hours trying to think happy thoughts, eventually I would fall asleep but then the memory of my thoughts would carry with me for days and eventually it slipped away from my mind, until the next time. My mother always loved watching shows on television about ghosts and hauntings and I remember as a child if I had to get up to go to the bathroom I would catch a glimpse of a door bending forward trying to break open with people standing there in fear of the evil within their house, or videos of a “ghost” in someone’s upper hallway. These images stuck in my mind and I was scared. Since I have accepted Christ as my savior and started to study scripture I realize that there is no fear in death, Heaven is our gain!
I am sure there are many people who have also struggled with the fact that someday we will die and leave our loved ones behind. This does sadden me because who wouldn’t be sad about this? We have our children, our family, our friends, etc. However, when we have Christ in us we know that we have unmerited favor (grace) and we will be taken home to Heaven to live in eternal bliss with our Lord as well as our loved ones who have already passed. I think the most important thing to do here on Earth is to raise our children to know Christ as their savior like God has stated in the beginning “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” Genesis 1:26* We are to bring our children up knowing God, knowing his new covenant, his promise to us that we can be saved through Christ because Christ died for our sins. In knowing this we can be rest assured that our children can be with us when it is their time to come home. With our friends and loved ones that we leave behind when we pass the best we can do is make every attempt to help them to find Christ if they do not already know, and if they refuse, all we can do is pray after we plant the seed that the Holy Spirit will work within their hearts and that they find Christ.
Going back to the fear of dying I have to say that I no longer have the fear, as I stated earlier. We can imagine what Heaven is like as there is a vivid explanation of this in Revelation and reading the scripture we can close our eyes and see what it will be like. Most people ask the question, what happens when we die? Do we immediately ascend to heaven or do we sleep until the return of Christ. This is a theological debate but the Bible has many passages that show that we do ascend into Heaven when we die for our judgment. God doesn’t give us all the answers and leaves us wondering but if we had all the answers we would not be walking by faith, only by sight, right? So I believe that we are not to know all the answers but God does reveal details for us within the Bible. When we die we can remember “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me”. (Psalms 23:4) In this passage God is telling us that we should not fear He is with us! “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”. (1 Corinthians 15:54-57) I know I say a big AMEN to that! God did give us the victory, He sent Christ to save us so that we could go through Him to the Father, what greater gift! The moment we die we go to Heaven it is written in scripture “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8) Because “surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord FOREVER”. (Psalms 23:6) That is a promise, which is from God our Father, because of Christ. We don’t deserve this, but because of the grace given to us from God through Christ we are saved! Jesus is the way, the truth and the life ““Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3) The New Testament is a New Covenant, a New Promise, do not live under the law live under the unmerited favor, the grace that God has so graciously given to us, which Jesus suffered and defeated for us! We cannot fall under the law and be condemned for our faults, when we are saved from grace we are saved from our past, present, and future mistakes!
What is Heaven Like?
When I think of Heaven I think of the love, the happiness, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) When I think of this verse I feel so overwhelmed with peace, with love, with the covering of Christ and the Holy Spirit, I am comforted! Think about this, the ultimate glory of Heaven and the New Jerusalem: “having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” (Revelation 21:11-27) I know that is a very long passage to place in here but without its entirety there can be no envisioning of what it will be like, how can we fear this?
Heaven is a far Better Place
Heaven is a far better place for believers than here on Earth, as a believer I view Earth as hell compared to where we are going, we need to do what we can here in order to bring more people to Christ, the harvest is ready, as I have heard it is ready, it is pure, as white as snow the harvest is ready. We need to bring excitement about Heaven to the unbelievers and even bring the excitement back to the believers, to go out and bring the lost to Christ. We as believers are already citizens in Heaven “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself”.(Philippians 3:20-21) God’s Holy Spirit guided the writers to inform of His promises, reach out and take hold of what is already in front of you, plant your roots firmly in the ground, let no wind knock you down, let no storm rip your faith, let nothing uproot you as we stand on a rock and our rock is Christ our savior! When we stand on that rock, the solid foundation, nothing can break the ground beneath us and we cannot fall, our faith is too strong our shields of faith deflect any fiery darts of the wicked, we have the whole armor of God to protect us, and He is handing it to each and every one of us! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)
I say to you, do not spend your life in fear of dying, in fear of death, or of the unknown because we do know, God has told us and God keeps ALL of His promises! Remind yourself of this: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing”. (2 Timothy 4:7-8) “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)