Saved from Fear of Death

After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb! Revelation 7:9 HCSB

This scene is from heaven.  I’m so thankful John recorded in Revelation.  Death holds no sting for me.  That’s one of the things I’m saved from – fear of dying.  And I’m not the only one.  History is full of tales of Christians who died rejoicing.  One elderly musician who had spent his life praising God with his voice opened his eyes one last time to utter: “Wow. Wow!” and then he was gone.  Lottie Moon, famous missionary to China, was said to spend her last breaths uttering greetings to Chinese believers who had gone before.  Can’t you just see her in the throng this verse from Revelation describes?

O!Mag, a Bible study and commentary blog, records some more Christians’ last words.  You can find the orginal post here http://www.oh-mag.com/in-between-studies/last-words/

John Pawson, minister:“I know I am dying, but my deathbed is a bed of roses. I have no thorns planted upon my dying pillow. In Christ, heaven is already begun!”

Adoniram Judson, American missionary to Burma:“I go with the gladness of a boy bounding away from school. I feel so strong in Christ.”

John A. Lyth:“Can this be death? Why, it is better than living! Tell them I die happy in Jesus!”

Martha McCrackin:“How bright the room! How full of angels!”

Mary Frances: “Oh, that I could tell you what joy I possess! The Lord does shine with such power upon my soul!”

Sir David Brewster, scientist and inventor of the kaleidoscope: “I will see Jesus; I shall see Him as He is! I have had the light for many years. Oh how bright it is! I feel so safe and satisfied!”

But it’s not so for unbelievers, for those separated from Christ forever … for the unsaved.  Many years ago in Africa, my husband returned from a visit to a nearby village, visibly shaken.  He sat down, pale, and told me this story.

An African woman lay dying on a mat in her mud hut.  She had spent her life sacrificing to ancestors, trusting in amulets, and worshipping carved masks, but it was obvious none of that was going to help her now.  Her family called my husband in to pray for her.  He stepped into the gloom of the hut just as she opened her eyes for the last time.

“I watched her face — as she stared into hell.  She uttered a horrible cry, and was gone.  I’ve never – never – seen an expression on someone’s face like that before,” he told me.

The unsaved have no peace at death, or for any moment thereafter.

These words, also drawn from O!Mag post above, are attributed to non-Christians at their moment of death:

Edward Gibbon, author of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire:“All is lost, irrecoverably lost. All is dark and doubtful.”

David Hume: The atheist died in utter despair with an awful scene crying out, “I am in the flames!”

Karl Marx: Was on his deathbed surrounded by candles burning to Lucifer and screamed at his nurse who asked him if he had any last words, “Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”

Sir Thomas Scott: “Until now I thought there was no God or hell. Now I know there is both, and I am doomed.”

I am saved from doom.  Saved to a life of rejoicing around the throne with others from every tribe and tongue and nation.

Praise God. I’m saved.

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3 Responses to Saved from Fear of Death

  1. Sondra Kraak says:

    Susan, I appreciate these words. That must have been a horrifying experience for your husband to witness such agony. This week, a close friend of mine lost her husband in a drowning accident while they were on vacation. Though I am heartbroken over this, I know he is in heaven. How would we survive without the hope of heaven and promise of eternal life? I don’t know.

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  2. Susan says:

    Sondra, I am so very sorry to hear about your friend and her husband. And no, I can’t imagine how the rest of the world can bear a grief like that without knowing their loved one is rejoicing in Heaven and without the surety of seeing that person again. I’m so thankful for the hope we have in Christ, even as I grieve with you about this loss. Please let your friend know I am praying for her.

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  3. Blanche says:

    Thanks for such a timely word. A hard word but a necessary and hopeful one. Blessings for your faithful sharing of the word and it’s power and hope.

    Like

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