Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In terror or in peace?

Bob, at In the Clearing, writes about Christians and death in "Death, where is thy sting?" There are those who seem to believe that it is unfair and unjust of God whenever bad things happen to Christians - or, on the other hand, that those bad things must be the work of the devil. The real question isn't why bad things happen, but why not?
I don't want to break anyone's heart, but I hope you all know you're probably going to die someday.

I recently heard a Christian friend of mine say, "I just don't understand how God can allow so-and-so to get cancer." I wanted to say, do you really think certain people should be immune from the normal frailties of the flesh? Or that being a believer should mean not getting cancer, heart disease, MS, etc.? The real question is, why shouldn't he or she get cancer? Or you? Or me? Or anyone else? ....

One of the darkest regions of our interior continent is that place where we harbor our thoughts about death. Our selfish feeling that death is just not fair, and our childish fear of it, which only reveals the shallowness of our faith. .... See, the wages of sin is death, but when Christ took care of sin on the cross, he took care of death. The crosswork of Christ took care of both sin and death.

I know a fellow whose ministry it is to "walk with the dying." He befriends and advocates for dying people, and he's often at their side when they pass from this world. He told me once, "Bob, there's no way to predict how someone is going to die. I've seen atheists die peacefully in their beds and lifelong Christians die in abject terror. You can never tell."

I am not foolish enough to claim to know in what way I will face my end, whether in terror or in peace. But I know how God would have me go. Giving him the glory right to the end! .... [more]

In the Clearing: Death, where is thy sting?

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