Letter from the Church Council: Fear of Death
At the graveside of Jesus’ friend Lazarus, He told grieving sisters Mary and Martha, “Your brother will rise again,” and “He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live, and whoever believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
These words are especially comforting for those of us in sorrow from the death of loved friends such as those we have lost among our ACC brethren this past year. Jesus stands with us in our grief. He understands grief. He wept with the sisters of Lazarus, and so today He also is touched with our feelings of loss, or fear of death. As we place our trust in Him, He cares for us in our sorrow. How it has helped me to know that the saints we loved and mourn await us on ‘another shore’ where there is no crying, pain, hunger, or want.
The message of Easter we celebrate this April is that Jesus gave His life for our sins, and was raised from the dead, adequate proof that He holds the keys to enter the Kingdom just as He said. Jesus further stated that He will not deny entry to anyone who believes in Him, who believes what He did for us (John 3:16). Haleluya! What is going to take us also from death into eternity will not be our excellent character, nor our generous giving, nor attendance at church, nor good works for the poor. While all are commendable, placing our trust in Jesus Christ alone can provide us the assurance of resurrection to eternal life.
For those who do not believe in the resurrection after death, you are not alone. During Jesus’ time there were the Sadducees in particular, and even the disciples before He showed Himself to them after his resurrection. Only afterwards did they believe. This fact empowered them to become not just followers but leaders in a movement to spread this good news which today numbers over 2 billion followers.
There is no better time to choose to believe. Do it today, and be saved. Faith in the one true God will give us assurance when we breathe our last breath, when we pass from death to life and our heavenly, eternal home. At that time we will see that our time on earth was just a fleeting moment. When we trust in Christ, fear is gone of what lies beyond the grave. He who holds the future is there. He has prepared a place for us. Unending joy will be ours forever. We can exclaim with Paul, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). Consider this: immediately following our death will be glory. Jesus said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
Erwin Kinsey – ACC Council Vice-Chair