Friday, July 17, 2009


People fear death. Some fear it to such an extent that there is no discussion of wills, funeral services or grave sites. At death, which must come to all of us, families are left to make decisions without knowing preferences.

Except for a couple of biblical references (Enoch and Elijah), death is as natural as life. It is a journey we begin when we were conceived. For most of us, we will stand beside the gravesides of loved ones multiple times.

Often we will not understand. Whether it is the suffering before hand, the age of the departed, the timing, we simply will not understand. Yet, we can find comfort in His word:

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalms 116:15 KJV)

According to Paul, that would include me.

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7 KJV)

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:27 KJV)

And many other verses where Paul indicates that the members of Christ’s church are the Lord’s saints.

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: (1 Corinthians 1:2 KJV)

So, we discuss death, just as we discuss religion. Those subjects some regard as unspeakable. They are intertwined. For the Christian, death brings life:

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (1 Corinthians 15:54 KJV)

Paul puts this in front of all who read his letters – on the one hand:

For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1 Corinthians 15:16-19 KJV)

On the other hand, what we believe:

But now is Christ risen from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20a KJV)

And, believing, we can agree with Paul:

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? … But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55, 57 KJV)

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