The One And Only Reason To Fear Death

Charles Pogue

Man is a finite being. All of us shall pass away from this life. As Peter wrote, “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:” ( I Peter 1:24). It is appointed to every man to die, and then the judgment will come (Heb. 9:27).

Just this week we learned some doctors in Israel believe they have found a cure for cancer. The search for such a cure has been going on for many years. Other researches are busy looking for cures to other diseases. Why is that the case? Because men seek to extend this physical life as long as possible. There is nothing wrong in wanting to live a long and healthy life in this body. It is tragic, however, when a man seeks to extend his life because he fears death. Granted, some should fear death, and there is one justifiable reason to fear the putting off the physical body. Sin!

Sin is the means by which physical death came into the world (Gen. 2:16,17; 1 Cor. 15:21,22). All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). The consequence of sin being death, if there were no remission of sins, all men would have one and only one reason to fear death. One who dies in sin will suffer eternally for dying in that condition (Matt. 9:44-48; 25:45; 2 Thes. 1:7-9).

God loved and loves all men. He does not wish any to be lost but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Because He loves man and does not want him to perish, God has provided a Saviour through whom all may have forgiveness and have the one and only reason to fear death removed. As was stated by the wise man Solomon, the way to remove the fear of death is to fear the Lord. “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death” (Prov. 14:27).

The Saviour provided is none other Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. In Hebrews 2:14,15 the writer penned these words concerning him:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

When Martha said to Jesus if He had been there her brother Lazarus would not have died, Jesus response in part was, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” (John 11:25). All will be raised from the dead, some to everlasting life, some to eternal destruction (John 5:28,29). Thus, those who die without having their sins removed are still encumbered by the one and only reason to fear death.

How are one’s sins removed? By Obedience to the Gospel, which began to be proclaimed on Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection. Peter instructed those who asked what they must do to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38). However, for the fear of death to not return one must remain faithful to the Lord all the days of his life. The letter to the church in Smyrna, Revelation 2:8-11states the fact there is an if involved for those who have obeyed the first principles of the doctrine of Christ.

“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.”

There are two groups of people who live with the one and only reason to fear death. It is true whether they realize it or not. Those two groups are those who have never obeyed the Gospel, and those who have obeyed the Gospel at some point in their lives but who have not been faithful to the one who died for them. Only one group of persons has no reason to fear death, those who obey the truth and live faithfully to it all the days of their lives. Paul states it so beautifully in the great resurrection chapter, 1 Corinthians 15:55-58.

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

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