Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Thanatophobia

Proverbs 11:19 As righteousness tends to life: so he that pursues evil pursues it to his own death.

      Thanatophobia. The fear of death.
      This is one phobia we are all going to deal with. I am so grateful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because He has conquered death for us all. Rev. 1:18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave. 

      In North America, where we have been brought up to believe that death is optional, we are awakening to a reality that it is coming one day. As we get older and find ourselves looking in the bible for those long life promises from God, we seem to be cramming for our finals per se. Gen. 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. Many are betting on the worst thing said about a long life. Psalm 90:10 The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. 
      I believe that all this concentration on the longevity of life is distorting our perceptions of a rich and fulfilled life in Christ. Quality of life comes from having a heart that belongs to God for the purposes of God. The fear of death is magnified when we are not walking in the will of the Lord or just living rebellious lives. When we are at peace with God, then the love of God casts out all fear and that includes the fear of death. 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 
      Wow! What a blessing to know that the perfect love of God He has toward us will cast out the fear of death because we are in Him and He is in us. We do not have to fear our coming death because God will be there right alongside of us, guiding us through the door of death. Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. We will step out of this life right into the next one; with God at our side, guiding us through the death experience. 
      In the presence of our Mighty God, there is no fear whatsoever. What does this mean? It means we can stare our grave in the face because the grave has lost its victory over us through the sacrificial work of what Christ has done for us and in us.1 Cor. 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
      We read the story of the three young Hebrew men who would not bow down to the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar set up. The penalty for this act of not worshiping was death by fire in a very hot furnace. There is a blessing in knowing God intimately and it often comes out as calm courage and not as a false bravado. Dan. 11:32b But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. 
      The response from the three young men is a spontaneous answer from their hearts. Dan 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 
      What did these young men know in their hearts? Maybe it was a word from God that encouraged them to not let fear dominate their souls. Job 14:5 You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer.
      No one wants to die before their time, myself included. I want a long life of blessed productivity in the Kingdom of God. I want to live a full life that is full of the wonder of my God. The Lord has put before us the choice of life and death and He admonishes us to choose life. Deut. 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. 
      Why does He want us to choose life? Because He is life itself and without Him, we can do nothing of significance that will have eternal value. 1 Cor. 15:54  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true. Death has been swallowed up in victory. The fear of death can be conquered by having the life of God manifest in our hearts. Live long and be blessed.

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