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Written by Jimmie Burroughs Email to a friend
Each day across the world about 150,000 t0 200,000 people finish life on earth and enter eternity. Death is a normal part of life and is experienced by all regardless of race, financial status or even age. Our stay on earth is relatively short even if we live the average life span or beyond. Nothing in life is more important than preparing for death. As we age the clock seems to speed up clicking off years like days until the end looms in sight. I suppose there is no way to be completely at ease with death; there is always some apprehension for the unknown, but we can learn to accept it, and most importantly prepare for it when we “Find the Answers for Three Key Questions about Death.”
1. What happens after a person dies?
Four years ago someone posted this question on the internet: “What do you think happens when someone dies? Do you believe it’s different for everyone, or do you believe that heaven and hell thing? I want to know some theories other then ‘nothing’ or ‘you become a tree.’ I don’t care how crazy it may sound; just tell me.”
Out of 14 responses 7 were Biblical and 7 were in essence, “Nothing happens after death other than the end of life.” The asker was apparently not searching for truth since he chose as the best answer: “You enter the 4th dimension where you have to fight goblins.”
People may make fun of death but they can’t take away from the seriousness of it, nor can they change the chain of events that take place after death because of what they may choose to believe.
There are three popular world views as to what happens after death: First, existence ends at death, and there is no hereafter or further life. This is the view of atheists, and those who accept evolution as the origin of life. Second, at the end of life a person returns as a person or a lower form of life; this is the view of those who believe in re-incarnation. Third, when a person dies they come face to face with God who created them and give account for their life on earth; this is called the judgment. After the judgment they will either receive eternity in heaven or eternity in hell, depending on the choices they made while on earth. All three of these are accepted by faith because no one has died and returned to tell about it other than those who claim to have had an after death experience. Whether after death experiences are true can’t be proven, most people discount them as some sort of psychological experience, not a real death and then coming back to life.
The first two mentioned above are nowhere found in the Bible; only the third that all mankind will be accountable to God for the decisions they made while alive on earth is recorded in Scripture. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” The word appointed means that death lies in wait to finally claim each person, and after death each person will stand before God to be judged for the choices they made in life.
2. How is a person to deal with the death of friends and relatives?
Naturally the longer we live the more of those that we love die, and the more sorrow we will have to deal with. My grandparents, my mother and father, my mother-in-law and father-in-law, my wife, my two brothers, four brothers-in-law and numerous friends have all died. It is never easy to deal with such loss, but for those who have a relationship with God it becomes far easier because God’s presence makes a difference. The classic 23 Psalm is God’s promise to his children: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
I know for an unbeliever it is impossible to understand how God’s presence would make a difference at the time of death, whether it is the death of a love one or one’s own death. I don’t know how, but I do know that it does make a difference because it has for me. God promises us joy in life or death. Jesus said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). I know that it is hard to understand how you could have joy when you lose a love one. The answer is that it is not one or the other, either grief or joy, but both can occur simultaneously. God gave us the ability to grieve for a purpose. It helps the body and mind to recover and heal from great losses. It is a normal occurrence, but so is God’s joy for his children.
3. How can a person prepare for death?
There aren’t many alternatives when you consider preparing for death. You can accept the evolution formula; “Nothing + Nothing = everything”, therefore nothing matters including life and death. Also, if you don’t mind holding cows sacred in fear that they might be your re-incarnated relatives, then you can just place your hopes in re-incarnation and take your chances on coming back after death as a human being. Or you can just forget about doing anything, like most people do, and hope for the best. When you really think about it, the only way to prepare for death that makes sense is God’s way. God in his word warns that most will take the broad way which includes the first three alternatives mentioned above. The Bible says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat” (Matthew 7:13).
It is my sincere prayer that you discover God’s way. Most Americans believe in God, but that is hardly enough to prepare for death. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:1-3, 6).
The way to prepare for death is very simple, just three steps: If you desire to go to heaven when you die, and believe that you have sinned against God, that is the first step. If you are willing to believe that Jesus paid the penalty for your sin through His death, burial and resurrection, that is the second step. If you are willing to repent of your sins, Turn from them, and ask Jesus to forgive you and to come into your life, that is the third step.
The Bible says, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10). After you believe in Jesus in your heart, with the mouth confession of your faith in Jesus is made through your prayer to God. Note- a prayer only confirms what you already believe in your heart. Here is a simple prayer that you can pray if you are truly serious about trusting in Jesus as your savior.
Lord Jesus I know that I’m a sinner who needs forgiveness. I believe that you died for me, and were buried and rose again from the grave to pay for my sins. I turn from my sins and trust you to forgive me right now and to come into my life. Thank you for forgiving me and saving me. Amen
If you sincerely prayed the prayer above, and trusted Jesus as your savior, I want to send you some free additional materials that will help you in your new found faith. Just click the link below. You will be asked for your name and email, so that I can send you the material. Your email will be used only for sending you helpful information and never as a solicitation to buy anything, nor will it ever be shared with anyone.
May God Bless You,
Jimmie Burroughs: Founder of Christian personal development.
About the author: Jimmie Burroughs is a motivational speaker and author who has been involved in teaching Christian Personal Development for more than 30 years. There are hundreds of articles to help you on this website, Website Contents , in your person growth. If I can help you personally, please send your concerns via: Contact me.
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