Christian Fellowship 1997-01-20 - Death

Romans 6:23-- "The wages of sin is death"

Not something everyone likes to talk about really, but none the less a reality that faces us all everyday. Historically Protestants have talked about death, but over the last century this practice has largely died itself. Evangelicals want to hear about nice things, pleasant things when they go to church and many ministers fear that people will be turned off by things that are unpleasant to them.

There is not a lot written on death. One of the few volumes that I have is by Charles Drelincourt, "The Christian's Defence against the Fears of Death with Seasonable Directions how to Prepare Ourselves to Die well." The title of this book is the point that I would like to make. We ought to be preparing ourselves to die well. In order to accomplish this task we must live well. Death is not a spectator sport for any of us. And the longest life is but a waiting death. Or to put it plainly the death rate is 100%, one per person. It hangs upon us as a great unknown and it is for this reason that we ought to talk about death while we live. Death brings a loss to the living and to those who do not rest in Christ for their hope and trust. But for the those who rest in the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ-- death is a transport to glory.

Charles Spurgeon says, "It is the very joy of this earthly life to think that it will come to an end". This is true for those who trust in Christ alone, and for them it is most true. I love to quote Thomas Watson and once again his wisdom escapes anything I could say. He says, "Let them fear death who do not fear sin". It seems to me that this is a great insight. The closer we walk with Christ the less we will fear meeting Him in glory. The more we are within the revealed will of God, the more we will relax at the thought of the judgment of God. Preparing ourselves to die well has much to do with how we prepare each day to live according to the teachings of Scripture.

"He may look on death with joy, who can look on forgiveness with faith." --Thomas Watson

"In order that a good conscience may lead us peacefully and quietly to the grave, it is necessary to rely upon the resurrection of Christ; for then we go willingly to God." John Calvin on Genesis 2.

"Mighty and gracious lords, I will tell you to what your honour shall come; first, ye shall wax old like others, then ye shall fall sick like others, then they shall die like others, then ye shall be buried like others, then ye shall be consumed like others, then ye shall be judged like others, even like the beggars which cry at your gates: One sickens, the other sickens; one dies, the other dies; one rots the other rots: look in the grave and show me which was important and which was common. This is some comfort to the poor, that once he shall be like the rich, one day he shall be as wealthy, and as glorious as a king; one hour of death will make all alike." Henry Smith, England's silver tongued preacher.

Soli Deo Gloria,