1998-03-02 - Death With Dignity
Romans 10:9,10 because if you proclaim with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart one believes, leading to righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation.
I used to work with someone who was convinced that people die three at a time. Superstitious crap as far as I am concerned. Well, last week, in 48 hours, my school recently lost three full time students. We only have about 300 students. Two died when the car they were in was hit by a drunk driver. The word, unofficial, on campus, is that the third was a victim of self-murder. If you are new to these devotionals, or if you have not figured it out by now, I am a lover of the Puritans. One of the many facets that I love about the Puritans was their obsession with preparing to die well. It may seem morbid, and it is, but being ready to meet Jesus at any time requires living well. The Puritans used language that was not only creative, but also thought provoking. Charles Drelincourt, in his book on the Christians Defense Against the Fears of Death, reminds us that being forgiven in Christ means we have "superexcellent" treasures in Christ. Later he reminds his readers that in Heaven they will no longer be subject to the "inconveniences" they face in this life.
I think of Heaven as being the place of no pain, sorrow, sickness, but must admit that no longer being inconvenienced will also be a blessing. Of the two students who were killed in the auto accident, one died instantly. The other lived a short while. His two year old son was in the car and was not injured in the accident. When the rescue team tried to separate the boy from his dying father the boy did not want to leave him. The father calmly turned to his son and told him to go with the rescue workers. He told the boy he was going to go be with Jesus and died a few minutes later. Death with dignity.
I wonder how many of you who are reading this have such confidence. Could you, taking your last few gasps of air, turn to a loved one and say, "Don't worry, I'm going to be with Jesus."? I imagine many of you could. The great questions of this earth have nothing to do with the stock market, impending wars, political intrigue, or the upcoming baseball season. The great questions of our lives have everything to do with the gospel of salvation and how we respond to its message. The gospel is simply this, "because if you proclaim with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart one believes, leading to righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
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Soli Deo Gloria,