2003-09-09 - Die Happy
Revelation 2:11 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 'He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death'"
If you have read much of what I write you know that I have a special part in my heart for those of the Scottish bent as far as ministers go. James Durham is one of the most well know ministers in the history of Scotland. As I was reading today I came upon some information about his death that while sad, in many ways, may be an encouragement to those of us who struggle with the issue of assurance of faith.
Durham was, and still is, a very influential minister in the history of the church of Scotland. Several of his books are still in print today. He died in 1658. Obviously, his works are still regarded as substantial contributions to the Christian faith. His influence was great, but I hope that by giving a short account of his struggles with his death, his influence might extend even more.
I hold James Durham up in the highest regard. This is why, when I was reading on Monday, I was shocked to learn of his fear of dying. He had great influence. He had, as far as lives go, what would be viewed as a great life. But at the end of his life, while on his death bed, he said, "After all that I have preached or written, there is but one scripture I can remember, or dare grip; tell me if I dare lay the weight of my salvation upon it; "Whosoever cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.'" In his struggles he reached the right conclusion. His friend responded, "You may depend upon it, if you had a thousand salvations at hazard."
Death is a scary thing. But this life is something that will lead to an end zone for all of us. Eventually our lungs will no longer take in air. There is no way to thwart that. I encourage you to seek to live for Christ from this moment on. It is all we can do. If you are 12, 57, 34, or 83, it makes no matter. Give all to Christ. Seek to serve Him. You will make mistakes, but we need to seek to do the best we can to serve the one who has saved our souls.
I was sad to read today that Durham, who I have been reading for years died with fears concerning his soul. In general I think that serving Christ will help us to "die happy." Death is never a fun thing, but dying in Christ is something that we can live through. What I learned today is that even the greatest saints, like Durham, can struggle with death. That is a comfort to me. I am allowed to struggle. Even the best of saints struggle. I am thankful for that and I am thankful for the honesty that history gives us.
Soli Deo Gloria,