2000-08-01 - Scared of Dying?

Summer Question Series, Part 5

Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

My question is it ok to be scared of dying? I think I am more scared of leaving my family husband and 2 children. I know it will be a better place.

This is a great question. It leaves open lots of other questions. But the big one is about being scared of dying. I am. So I hope it is OK. In one sense I am…death is an unknown, in another sense I rest in Christ because I find no where else where my hope can be fulfilled. I trust Christ, His atonement, His resurrection, His redemption, His offer of salvation. But, yea, I am afraid of dying.

When I think of dying (every time I take out my motorcycle), I think of my wife, What would she do without me? I think about my mom, my death would hurt her so … #133;and so on down to everyone I know and who I think might miss me. Death is a fear for everyone. But those who have been close to God have often gone to their death with joy and comfort. Here are two examples.

I was just reading this last night. Thomas Bilney, a great name to remember, but a name now lost. He was called,"the apostle of Cambridge." Now I know a little about Cambridge, because I studied there one summer. Cambridge University is a wonderful place. Bilney went to Cambridge knowing he would die for his faith, but went to testify of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He was arrested for his faith under the reign of Henry VIII, and it was said he was "chearful" the night before he died. He said that he, "dwelt in a ruinous house" (his body) and it would only cost repairs as long as he dwelt in it. At his death he held up his hands, sometimes striking his breast, crying, "Jesus," "credo" (I believe). He gave up his spirit to the flames of the fire in 1531. Sadly the wind blew the flames away from him often and his torture was called, "extraordinary." But he met death with dignity.

Richard Bayfield is another who was burned at the stake in 1532. He went to the stake to be burned for his faith. Before he went he spent about an hour in prayer and it is reported that he went, "With courage and joy to the fire." He burned for about an hour without moving or thrusting just as he had told his persecutors. He was then received into the church triumphant in heaven.

Death, no matter how it happens, is our lot, save the second coming of Christ. We might not be burned for our faith, but we will all meet our end. It is no shame to be afraid of dying. In death we have, as Christians, our hope. But hope is hope. It is the unknown to some extent. Our hope says it will be better, that sorrow and pain will go away, but it is also hope in that which we have not experienced.

Fear of death is part of life. And that is why we trust in the providence of God. This is why we rest in the sovereignty of God. This is why we pray, "Oh, Lord, lead us! Help us, sustain us, and all for your glory!" This is to be our prayer. May God's will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10), even in our death.

Soli Deo Gloria,