During a recent discussion, we stumbled upon the topic of death. We talked about how peoples’ perceptions of life change when they realize they we will be dying soon. We talked about how the image of death compares to the thought of dying to yourself as an act of obedience to God. And finally we ended up talking about the great disconnect between Christian beliefs about eternity and our irrational fear of death.
Think about it. If we, as Christians, truly believe that a physical death results in eternally being in the presence of our Creator, why are we so scared? If we are on our way out of this world full of pain and headed toward heaven, why are we so sad? If our eternity is as glorious as we claim it to be, why do we spend so much energy trying to milk every second we can out of this dump?
I know that we worry about loved ones and how they will go on without us. I realize that we often feel like we have unfinished business here. And I recognize the fact that large amounts of pain and suffering often accompany death. But in the span of forever, where time does not even exist, these things will not matter in the least.
When you are standing in the presence of God, giving eternal thanks to Jesus for His sacrifice, and singing joyful praises with every breath, the minute details of this life won’t even be an afterthought. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that our time here does not matter. In fact, Jesus rarely spoke of the afterlife and focused His ministry on how we should treat each other here. We were put here for a purpose, and we need to do everything in that power to fulfill that purpose.
However, it is important to keep in mind that this is only our temporary home. We were ultimately created to spend eternity with God, and as long as we have accepted our role here on earth that is exactly what we will do.
When we fear death, we are showing nonbelievers that we are really not that confident about this salvation we talk so much about. We make it seem as though it is not real to us. And if it is not real to us, how can we make it real for them?