Saturday, October 31, 2015

OCTOBER 31 "HAPPY HALLOWEEN, WHAT'S SCARIER THAN DEATH"

     I have always wondered about people who claim a peacefulness about dieing. It is not that I don't believe the accounts/stories I have heard, it is just hard to believe. In my opinion, I have always feared death and until this day there is still somewhat of a fear that lurks within. Today's reading helped me feel a little more at ease with my disposition towards death. Our text acknowledges that there is a natural, human tendency to have a fear towards death, so I am normal. Anyone who claims to have no fear of death must be someone who is not being completely honest with you or worse, with themselves. This text in Hebrews is very important concerning death.  It is written that one of the pre-requisites for Jesus to be our Saviour was that He too face (taste) death.  And what was Jesus' response just seconds before he died? "Father, why have you forsaken me" (does that sound like fear?!)
There was a fear ....however Jesus rebounded (as we all must) and exercised faith, to overcome fear and unbelief and said, "Father I commit my spirit into your hands".  There is nothing scarier than a slow death.  It is one thing to have a sudden death and be taken without any foreknowledge, but for those that can see their death on the horizon, whether it be by a disease, fatal injury or old age, it is surely a battle of fear and faith.  To know that in a moment you will close your eyes and once you do, to know things will never, ever be the same again. You will close your eyes and perhaps never exist again?  There's the thought that you will close your eyes and when you awaken you will be in a place of torment for all eternity, never to escape.  And of course there is the thought that you will close your eyes and when you awaken you will find yourself in such a beautiful place as Heaven.  Jesus had to trust, that as He allowed himself to die (taste death), that it would not be the end for him who had existed since forever, up until that point. He had to "taste" death and read what the text goes on to say.    14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." 
     Jesus had to experience and face death, head on, himself and so must we! The difference....Jesus was the Pioneer! He was the first to taste death and conquer it!  Now, we too, by faith can face death, conquer it and raise from the dead. We have to believe that "death" has no grip on us. A Christian never dies, we simply close our eyes and enter into another dimension, called Eternity. The Christian on his death bed needs to believe, "I will now close my eyes and when I awaken again, I will be ALIVE AGAIN, in Eternity and by Faith...., in Heaven. Because we know, none of us truly deserve Heaven, so we must believe, by faith in God's word, that that is where we will be when our eyes open again.
     Unfortunately, the fear that can torment, is that we will open our eyes again and find ourselves in a dark place and never able to reverse that. The fear is that we died deluded, self deceived and that reality hits us when our eyes are opened again. Jesus himself is the one who points out to us that there will be many who die, thinking they were right with God that find themselves in Hell.  This is recorded for us in Matthew 7:21, "many, will say to me Lord, Lord, we knew you.....and I (Jesus) will say to them, "depart from me, you workers of iniquity".  This is a frightening thought and this is what brings us back to the frightening part of death.  That as my hour approaches or as death looms on the horizon of the unknown, the question the Christian must soberly ask himself is, "am I living a self-deluded Christian life?"  "Is my walk with God a farce?"  "Is it possible that I am deceived by my own self?"  
     The difference between us and Jesus is Jesus knew He was sinless and we know the opposite, that we are sinful!  All we know is this, that according to our text today, death is a big issue and there is nothing scarier for a human being to face than that of his own mortality. However, we also know that Jesus has come to break the fear of death in us, which according to scripture, has kept us in slavery. The irony is, that Jesus can only break the fear of death in you if He can break you from your sin. The fear of death is never broken in the life of the Christian that lives with secrets sins.  How can the unforgiven, bitter, gossiping, immoral, unclean Christian have the fear of death broken by Jesus? The only way for these types of Christians to have the fear of death broken in their minds is to give themselves over to a deluded/deceived mind.  The only way for the reprobate to free himself from this great fear of death is simply to dismiss God all together and this allows him to sleep at night and go on living in a deluded state of mind and consciousness.  Most of us face our mortality every time we fly.  It seems that people become quite sober when flying around in the skies, thousands of feet above the ground and ocean. However, truth is, most people will never die up in the sky, they will die with their feet planted on the ground. They will awaken one morning, not knowing that that day, is their last, no matter how hard they try to be safe, no matter how careful they are, no matter how healthy they are, that morning will be the last time they awaken on earth. The fear of death is not that "I am going to get old and one day die" The fear of death is that "I may die tomorrow".  The fear of death is that it is actually an "appointed" time already pre-ordained and every day that passes we are that much closer to facing the most critical experience of our lives, and we do not know when it is.  Death is the "ultimate tease" that God has put on humanity!  We do not know when it will be but it is a set time, but we can prepare. If you are alive today, reading this blog, you have enough time to prepare. The uncertainty of death is certain and quite unnerving, but the time to prepare, regardless of not know the hour, is here, it is now, it is today.  Many people go through life, every morning waking up, hoping that today is not the day they will die. They are playing Russian Roulette with their souls and they know it. And this is a sure sign that they are not right with their maker. Perhaps then, we who are living right, should have a peace about death.  Their will always be struggles of doubt and faith at times, we may cry out in an instance, "God why have you forsaken me" but like Jesus, we must rebound and counter that with Faith and say, "Lord, you are true to your word, by the blood of Christ I'm not perfect but forgiven and that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead shall quicken my mortal body and I shall not see decay but see Jesus face to face, into your hands Lord, I commit my spirit".