Saturday, January 14, 2012

What Fear For Death?

“For if we reflect that this our tabernacle—unstable, defective, corruptible, fading, pining, and putrid—is dissolved in order that it may forthwith be renewed in sure, perfect, incorruptible, in fine, in heavenly glory, will not faith compel us eagerly to desire what nature dreads?”

~John Calvin, On the Christian Life.

If there is even one finalising fear within a human being it is fear of death; so awesome a reality, no end of reflection will demystify it.

Death does not simply affect us; others’ deaths impact us as our death should impact others. Life has its meaning in this: whilst we are here we can affect life, love, and family members, and all sorts of differences we feel compelled by God to make. Once death comes, however, besides any legacy of bequest, we have no further positive impact.

But fear of death manifests itself in so many ways, from the pain we might suffer, to uncertainty over eternity, to the finish of our lives, amongst a plethora of others.

Now is when faith comes into its own. Faith, alone, answers all fears in the only acceptable way; why should we fear something so inevitable?

Believing In The Heavenly Vision Given Us

Bellowed from the heavens into the living Word of God, faithfully taken down by the Prophets and Apostles upon the anointing of the Spirit on them, is the indelible promise of completion upon bodily death.

We may believe this at theory, yet the practice of it via genuine belief—beyond any semblance of real fear—could still be unattained.

Hearing what the Bible says, knowing we are told to believe it, may mean little when we struggle with what appears as a reasonable fear. Why not fear death when we fear most other change?—and death is the consummate, non-returning change.

So, we understand and empathise with mortal and carnal fear disposed to thought of death, yet we come back to the insistent truth of the ever-trustworthy Divine Word.

The Post-Death Vision Gives Meaning To Life

Seen back to front—the vision of our lives looking back, as we may, from eternity—we are now driven to make the best of life, whilst at the same time we spend little time for regret.

Knowing the inevitable shall take place at a time we do not know, we press on. Nothing is going to happen to us that won’t happen to every other soul.

The wisest of all people will view life through the lens of eternity—death is its avenue.


There is no rational fear for death when we know God. Residential eternity is where perfection finally takes place and all things wrong are made right, again. Faith convinces us that the inevitable is preferable; fear can then be consequently dispelled.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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