Some say (broad term, I know) that the main cause for belief in God—any god–is “fear of death”. And whether any atheist reading agrees or no, in the Christian mind, death is not something that is…really considered anymore. When one is caught up in the great purposes of God, death is neither here, nor there.
“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? Let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.” (1 Corinthians 15:32, emphasis mine)
That was Paul speaking. Death can’t be something counted on as an excuse to believe in God, because death would only bring one closer to the God the believer knows and loves so much.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)
But for some Christians, pining for the latter obscures the former. Life isn’t about holding one’s breath until Heaven. After meeting Jesus, life becomes something altogether different. We realize that we didn’t arise out of nothing. We realize that we were put here by God in this time, for His reasons. Oh, He’s more than willing, eager even, to share them with us. And if death still holds court and inspires fear, know that “to be absent from the body” is “to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)
“Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” (Philippians 1:24)
A potential byproduct of living as a Christian with no fear of death is this notion that things around us can rot for all we care. This must be an annoyance for those who truly see things falling apart around us and feel helpless to affect positive change. I mean, if Heaven’s real, why worry about Earth? And while this sounds like a logical conclusion, it doesn’t mesh with the exhortation to “labour…that we may be accepted of Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)
While death might be inevitable, Jesus is “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). And appealing to the unsaved on a judgmental basis only, is unwise. “You want to go to Heaven, don’t you?” I would. If I believed in Heaven. But the real fragrance that attracts someone to God is Jesus. Knowing Him, as the “resurrection and the life” is beyond compare. Oh, and He’s also Lord of the dead. Having risen, He acquired a title that He didn’t have before.
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
There’s a common phrase. You hear it bandied about in numerous iterations: “No one knows what happens when we die.” But if you were to take Jesus at His word and “only believe”, then God would show you—for yourself—the answers to any and every question that plagues you. Take Him at His word.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” and woman (Hebrews 2:9).
“A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1, emphasis mine)
Because then it’s all over. Who knows if deathbed conversions take. Admittedly, pride being the monster it is seeks to hang on till the very end. Emperor Constantine supposedly converted to Christianity just before dying. Bear in mind though, that he used the symbol of the Cross to conquer and subjugate and acquire territory, without actually believing in Jesus and getting baptized. But it’s not my place to wonder about such things.