Law Observance and the Fear of Death
NCW 26, December 1995
Q. I have met so many Christians who seem to be afraid of death and dying. Why do you think that is? Shouldn't they have a hope that transcends this fear?
I think every Christian wrestles with death and the fear it invokes sometime in his life. I know that death has often humbled me and brought me down to earth and reality. But I agree with you when you say they ought not to be preoccupied with death -- all who are full of the Holy Spirit see with the inner eye that death is but the transition from one life form to another.
Perhaps their fear can be understood in part in considering a saying of Jesus: "With assurance I tell you, anyone who observes My teaching will never see death" (John 8:51, RBV). As usual, those to whom this remark was addressed misunderstood Him. We know, of course, that the Lord was not talking about literal death. We all die. Rightly, we interpret this to mean that we will not taste spiritual death if we obey Christ's Law or teachings but go on to eternal life. Yet I would suggest that the two are in some way connected too. If one believes truly in Christ and life everlasting, physical death will be sweet and something to look forward to. So I ask this question to those of your friends who have a fear of death as a persistent problem: Are you observing (living out) the teachings of Jesus Christ?
The answer to your question will lie in their reply.
This page was created on 8 May 1998
Last updated on 8 May 1998
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