But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
Dying. No one wants to. Very few have any inkling as to what it will be like. I dare say it’ll be different for each of us.
There are two deaths, really. Let’s call the death we all dread the Little Death. It’s when the body can’t go one, and our souls move on. WE…move on. In that sense, the Little Death is merely a transition. Not that I’m belittling it! It can be traumatic, painful, scary…it’s the great unknown as far as the experience goes.
I’ve never had a near death experience, but I have come close to dying more than once. The “standout” incident was painful, weakening, and a worrying slide away from anything that felt like a routine health problem The surgeon said if I’d gotten to the emergency room just a few hours later, he wouldn’t have been able to save me. Having gone through that, I’m going to say that, while not quite a day at the beach, Little Death could be a whole lot worse.
Then there’s DEATH. The Big D, the non-transitional DEATH that is the end of the road. That’s the one that we really need to be concerned about. Complete separation from God, in hell, tormented by demons and fire for eternity.
Try reading “23 Minutes in Hell” by Bill Weise. Or watch a video of him talking about it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYxKRoONrfY
DEATH is something to be feared and avoided.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
My pastor once told me how he’d sat with many people as they died. Sometimes it was uneventful as the person simply slipped away. Sometimes, one of two things happened. The person, comatose for a time, would, at the moment of death, suddenly sit straight up and reach out with their arms. They smiled radiantly, and then eased back as they died.
The second thing would be in a similar situation, but the moment of death was heralded very differently. The individual would not sit up or open her eyes. The individual would start squirming backwards, putting their arms up defensively, screw their face up in fear, and make terrified noises.
The first group was those who were known Christians. The second group was known non-Christians.
The Little Death we all go through. I can’t help thinking it might not be too bad, based on my experiences so far.
But DEATH? That’s the one to avoid. That’s the one Jesus worked so hard to win our reprieve. DEATH is what Jesus did in addition to Little Death to pay our price. The gift of a free pass to heaven is sitting in His outstretched, open hand. All we need do is accept it, cherish it, and share the news of it with others. That’s it.
So, if Little Death gives you the willies, you might want to be sure you’ve accepted Jesus and His “Get Out of DEATH Free” card. Because, let’s face it; dying once is plenty.