LET’S TALK THEOLOGY 008 — WHY ARE WE SO SCARED OF DEATH?
Engrained from the start
Since the days of our Sunday school, we have been taught to always pray against death. As a matter of fact, if you see a small child in Sunday school and ask him or her to pray, there is a very high chance the prayer “We will not die in Jesus’ name” will suffice. It is one of the first prayer lines we pick up.
From the very start of our lives, we have been told by our parents, societal members, friends and so on that death is something to be scared of.
In almost every session of night prayer we have, my mum always prays earnestly against death. Like her, a lot of Christians think death is a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong, the death of a close family member or friend hits hard on the mind and emotions of people. However, as Christians, although we should grieve; we should also rejoice. The person is in the presence of God, beholding his wonderous majesty — that is what we believe.
As a matter of fact, if you see a small child in Sunday school and ask him or her to pray, there is a very high chance the prayer “We will not die in Jesus’ name” will suffice.
In stark contrast to popular opinion, Paul thought death was a good thing. How? You may ask. He says in his letter to the Philippian church, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (1:21). So, yeah, he thought death in this world would be gainful. Again, you may ask, why? The answer is simple, he would be in the presence of God, worshipping Him, something he described as being very much better (Philippians 1:23–24, 2Cor. 5:6–9).
In his letter to the church in Thessalonica, Paul says this:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this, we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord, himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18
We should not grieve as those who do not have hope because we believe that Jesus arose and so will they who believe in His name when he comes back again.
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain
Death takes a toll on the living, especially those who were close to the one who just died. However, as Christians, we have hope. We know that they are in the presence of God and that they will be raised up just as Christ was on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I hope this is an eye-opener for us all that we should be hopeful because Jesus Christ has resurrected and lives as such: we have victory over death in Christ.
Yours in insight,