Why the Fear of Death?
By Cindy Arevalo ”
I don't think many can imagine not being afraid of death and yet we all seem to believe that a true child of God should not be afraid of it.
One of the reasons I came to a point of seriously questioning my christianity several years ago was my overwhelming fear of death. I just did not see how I could claim faith in God while honestly so many of the things I was doing in and with my life, were for the purpose of keeping myself (and those I loved) relatively safe from what I dreaded ...which was ultimately death.
So what makes us so afraid of death?
Well, there’s the fact that we have no control over it, we don't know when it will claim us, or how. There is the suffering that sometimes accompanies death. Then there is the loss of everything that we know, love, and are living for. We are in love with natural, physical things and cannot imagine an existence without them.
I know there are other things that can cause us to fear death, but I really want to focus on how we can be set free from the fear of death.
What if we were not created to love this world, our life here, and what it offers us, but rather we were to have access to a source of life that was not natural but spirit...spiritual? And what if that life consisted in far more sustenance, satisfaction, and peace than natural life could ever offer? And what if we were to have, experience and live from that life “now” not after we die physically, but “now” while we are still in these mortal bodies? And what if this life would teach us a different kind of love….a love for things that do not perish...a love for what is eternal, a deep and abiding love for God so that we in fact, would not lose what we love when we depart this world, but would carry our treasure with us into the next?
And what if the suffering of our natural body was not such a terror to us because we had already put it in its rightful place, not having an inordinate love of it, not having our identity wrapped up in it, but rather having our hearts fixed on things that will remain once it has perished?
Can you see how these things would take away the fear of death?
But how can they be our experience?
All of this is real “only” in Christ Jesus. This is the restoration of man to the life he was created for. All the fear of death and all we fear in this life, is a result of the fall and our subsequent choice to live for, and unto, what will be a total loss to us. The restoration of man to the life of God or “God as his life” and eternity as his portion … this is our salvation, this is the gospel.
What keeps us from this, is our love of ourselves, of the world and of our lives here. To gain what I spoke of above we must die to the only life we have known and loved. We must be given a new life and learn to walk in it and we must endure the tribulation that this world will dish out, because as we reject it for what it is, it will reject us.
There is no magic prayer, or list of doctrines to believe. This is not found in what calls itself christianity today. We must cry out to God to be born of this new life that is his “alone” to give. He does it by his grace and he is faithful if we are sincere.
Mat 19:25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.