How often do you think about death? Do you think it’s morbid to think about it, every day, especially at the beginning of the year? Most people fear death. Even though death is everywhere—tens of thousands of people die every day—we don’t know much about dying as we know about living, experientially speaking. We fear what we don’t know. So, most people avoid the topic of death as much and as long as possible.
Listen to what Charles Spurgeon said about this: “You will most surely have to die; why not think upon the inevitable...? If I do not think of death, yet death will think of me. If I will not go to death by meditation and consideration, death will come to me [catching me off-guard]. Let me, then, meet it like a man, and to that end let me look it in the face” (“Concerning Death”).
Some are loath to think about death because there are too many things they enjoy in this life or would like to have and experience before they die. They may not be so happy now, but they believe they will be if they do or accomplish or obtain certain things. Is that true?
What do you think about this description of life in the Bible? “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble...” (Psalm 90:10). That sounds bleak, I admit, but can we dispute that? When you compare all the happy moments of your life with all the times you were stressed, worried, tired, or just bored, which do you have more, overwhelmingly? This world may seem tolerable only because we try to make the best of our intolerable situation since this world is all we have (so we think).
Not all fear death; some actually want it. Why? Because life has become unbearable to them. They may know nothing about death or what comes after it. All they know is that their lives have become so intolerable that anything seems better than the nightmarish lives they are living. They see death as the only option to end suffering.
But from the biblical perspective, such thinking is a tragic, fatal illusion. Death is not the end of us; it is only the beginning of eternity: “…it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment..., some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Hebrews 9:27, Daniel 12:2). Therefore, death
may not be the end of our misery as many hope, but only the beginning of unending, unrelenting misery—if we die in sin. If we woke up in the everlasting inferno, we would fondly look back on the most miserable time of our lives and wish we were there instead.
Do you believe that death is the absolute end of you? If so, does it matter whether one lives like Hitler or Mother Theresa? Should someone, who loves and cares deeply about you, and another, who hates you for no reason and makes your life miserable out of sheer spite, have the same end? In fact, what if the former dies a painful
death, but the latter dies a comfortable death? Doesn’t something deep inside you cry out, “Unacceptable! There’s got to be justice!”?
Are you sure death is the end of us? How do you know? The Bible claims that God is just, and He will execute full justice one day. It also testifies to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which points to the reality of a supernatural, eternal realm. How do you think you will fare on that fateful day? Do you think you are good enough to tip the
scale of divine justice in your favor? The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That is why God sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us by paying the penalty of our sin through His suffering and death and resurrection. All you need to do is admit your guilt and trust what He did for you. Then, you won’t have to fear
death because it will be the beginning of your eternal glory and joy!