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Are You Afraid Of Death?

By bro Marc Wee

Most of us would be. A common trait in Singaporeans is that we are “Kia Si”, literally meaning scared to die. What it really means is that we tend to follow rules and are scared to run afoul of the law, thus making us obedient to the law.

Another common saying is that “The Only Two Certainties In Life Are Death And Taxes”, known to have originated in a 1789 letter from Benjamin Franklin to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, a prominent French scientist.

Everyone knows that death will come and it is only a matter of when. And what happens after that?

The afterlife and reincarnation are a common belief among the other religions.

Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that an aspect of a living being begins a new life in a different physical body or form after each death. It is also called rebirth or transmigration and is a part of the Saṃsāra doctrine of cyclic existence.

In short, if you do good in this life you will be able to attain a better life in the next life. You will also need to do enough good deeds to attain nirvana which refers to liberation from this cycle of aimless wandering through rebirth.

The other belief would be in heaven and hell. Heaven is often described as a "higher place", the holiest place, in contrast to hell, or the underworld or "low places". These places are thought to be universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, goodness, piety, faith, other virtues, right beliefs, or simply the will of God. Some believe in the possibility of a heaven on Earth in a world to come. Hell, in many religious and folkloric traditions, is a place of torment and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hell as an eternal destination, while religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations. Typically, these traditions locate hell in another dimension or under the earth's surface, and often include entrances to hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include purgatory and limbo.

But is this how we as Christians should view death?

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It says that we will not perish but have everlasting life. What a great comfort, my brethren! We hear of emperors and kings seeking longevity looking at how to extend their life. But God here offers it to all of mankind, not just to kings and emperors, but to all of us regardless of who we are as long as we embrace the truth, God’s truth.

We read in Acts 10:34 – 35

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons

35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

But what does this everlasting life entail?

Rev 21: 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

This place will be pain and suffering free. Jesus says we will not suffer anymore and that our pain and suffering will end.

Mat 11: 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Jesus also says this place will give us rest for the work we have done in our Lord’s vineyard, that all our burdens will be lifted.

Beyond death, Heaven is a place that will

  • Offer us rest

  • Take away our suffering and pain

  • Give us everlasting life

Here in our current state and bodies we go through pain and suffering from illness and injury because our bodies are limited, feeble and will ultimately perish. We feel tired and sometimes unable to carry on.

But on the other hand, if we do not believe what Jesus has said we will most probably try to extend our lives here on earth. And what is life on earth if you are poor and living in poverty? Hence, you will most likely spend your time seeking riches so that you can live comfortably and forgo God and his wisdom.

As Christians we should not fear death because after death comes everlasting life. And this everlasting life is free of pain and suffering where we will be free from all the cares of this world. We will no longer need to worry about and plan for our career, retirement, and the future of our children.

But of course this does not mean we should seek death or try to take our own life because it is not ours to begin with.

Romans 14: 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

Also, we should remember that we need to abide by God’s word to enjoy this everlasting life because the wages of sin is death. And because there is also somewhere else we can go, which is eternal damnation.

And what should that entail?

Mat 25: 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Jesus says in short that in hell there will be pain and suffering. But why would God create such a place if He is a God of peace, mercy and love? Jesus says here that we need to be profitable servants and useful to God and his kingdom in order to avoid being thrown into such a place.

It seems such a simple choice.

We cannot see tomorrow and death is definitely lurking in the shadows. But let us be ready for it by living our lives as good and profitable servants of God, to be ready and await the coming of our Lord Jesus, and to receive our reward and treasure.

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