In recent weeks I have discussed this topic with a few people, so I figured, why not share my thoughts with the world.
Death is a peculiar thing, it is common as birth, it is going on around us all the time, yet we never seem to get accustomed to it, it totally shocks each one of us when it knocks on our door.
Whilst flying to and from NSW I had a revelation on the plane, while looking down to the ground, a couple of kilometers below, watching the un-hurried white clouds float past my window, I realized that if something went wrong and we crashed, I was honestly ok with that… almost excited even, because I knew the very next thing I would see would be the face of Jesus calling me, and all the other saints home on that final day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life but I believe I can say with Paul, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” to paraphrase: If I live, that is great because I can work for God, but if I die, thats fine too… I get promoted.
Depending on your beliefs your perception of death can vary widely but the following is part of the way I see things… death is a product of sin, when sin (separation from God) came into the world, the result was death.
However, death is not as final as it sounds, Jesus himself refers to death as sleep, (John 11:11-14) sleep is not the final send off, sleep infers that you will wake up, the great question is what will you wake up to, according to the Bible there are two clear options, one is to wake up at the first resurrection, this is when Jesus returns to Earth to take the redeemed home to heaven for 1000 years.
The second option is to wake up at the second resurrection, unfortunately the people waking up on this day are the ones who have rejected the free gift of salvation offered by Jesus. and will be consumed by fire, this is not death as in sleep, this IS this eternal variety, and the final act of a loving God.
I know what you are thinking “Whoa Luke, you are coming unhinged man! how does hell and eternal death show love?” Good question! as God is all about love, the only way love can be genuine is if it is freely chosen, thus God would not force anyone to live a Holy and Joyful life with him if they did not want to, that would be torturous to those who have rejected him, so he allows them to have what they desired in the first place, separation from him, the natural consequence however of being separated from the life-giver is to be separated from life itself. He offers salvation, a way for you and me to sidestep the eternal consequences of this separation (sin), if we chose not to accept, we will not force us, he will allow us to bear our own sin, that is a burden guaranteed to grind us to powder.
When you get in your car and drive somewhere, do you experience fear and nail-biting anxiety? of course not because you know where you are going. Death is the same, if you know where you are going, if you know which master your life has been hooked to , there is no need for fear.
Note: if you are not a Christian and are thinking something like “Why would I put my faith in some unproven intangible being” well, being the likely scientific, logic driven individual you are I have a particular message which I am writing for you, check back next week and read it: “Setting Logic a-Blaise“
(I welcome all comments, questions and clarifications)