Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Facing Death with confidence

From time to time I visit people who are sick. Sometimes I call at their homes, but often I pop into the hospital to see them. Hospitals can be very sad places. The circumstances and struggles of life and the prospect of facing death are often confronted head-on in a hospital ward or side room.

Nurses, Doctors, Porters and Cleaners are often amazing people. Their skills and abilities far exceed the basic requirement to clean, transport and provide medical care. Usually, it is these unrecognised people who have a kind word to say and the ability to encourage, amuse and lift a person’s spirit. They are quite an amazing group of people.

But, here’s my question. What do you say to someone who is dying? When all prospect of recovery has gone, and the raw and painful news that life is drawing to an end comes what can you say? Platitudes and empty words are of no value then!

The other day I stood in a hospital lift. As each floor was reached and various people got out the only people left were another lady and me. She glanced at the Bible in my hand, and as she went from the lift she said, with a sigh, ‘it’s a hopeless situation’. I don’t really know what she meant and as the lift door closed before I could ask her I didn’t find out. But I do know this, that for many life ends in a hopeless situation.

From reading the Bible, I believe that death is not the end. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament speak of life after death and the resurrection of the body. For instance, the oldest book in the Bible, Job says ‘and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God,’ Job 19.26. There are many New Testament references which I could take you to, but the one I want to pick out reminds us that decisions made in this life determine our destination in the next. 

In Hebrews chapter 9 verse 27,28 it says ‘And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him’.

This is not the time to explain in detail what these verses mean (visit my webpage,, or contact me if you have questions) but please don’t miss these points.

1. Death is an appointment, not a random event,
2. There will be a day of judgment,
3. Christ died for our sins
4. Jesus promised to come back again,

5. Safety and salvation are for those whose sins are forgiven and are therefore waiting for him to come.

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