Why Are We Fearing Death
"And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
For the past few weeks, the Lord has heavily burdened me to reflect on the spirit of death and our natural fear of it. Please read on as we are sharing that the journey of death need not be feared by any born again Christian, but yes it becomes a dreadful thing to the unsaved (John 8:24; Revelation 21:8).
As human beings, our most common fear and enemy is death (1 Corinthians 15:26). Death is experienced daily, and oftentimes it happens unexpectedly and without warning. It comes upon human life a thief (Luke 12:20). Death is like an accident; though we may expect it to happen any time, it often (if not always) catches people totally unprepared. Readiness for the event of death is best expected and celebrated if we wait for it in Christ (Philippians 1:21). Some people choose to talk about death in preparation and expectation, while many others, out of a superstitious fear of inviting it earlier, avoid any talk of death.
During one of our witnessing rounds some time ago, I shared the gospel while handing out tracts to a few young men. One of them lividly voiced his position telling me that what I talked about could not be true since I never saw Jesus, nor did I know if there was life after death. I explained to him that the message of the Bible is to be taken by faith, and if it is not taken by faith, then we would have no hope (Hebrews 10:23). Furthermore, I also shared with him that I am convinced that Christ is real and that there was life after death, while recalling some of my own experiences with the Lord, and a near death experience I had when I had breathing problems after overdosing on marijuana back in the early 1990’s (I briefly shared my testimony of deliverance from smoking in the article, Deliverance Through Jesus Christ - Part 1). After sharing my testimony with him he could not advance his argument, so he attacked the Bible, and at that point I just blessed him and encouraged him to read the tract.
At the heart of the Christian message and the gift of salvation is God’s gift of eternal life (John 3:16-18). The Lord Jesus Christ came to tell you, and all humanity, that your death is certain:” … I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance”. That is, if we would only believe and accept God’s gift (John 10:10).
Man’s Sin Leading to Death
Brethren, I know this particular subject has been thoroughly dealt with by many fine scholars and ministers of the gospel. Therefore, for the benefit of this article and considering those who never read the accounts of the fall of man from a biblical perspective we briefly relate it here.
In the Bible record of the temptation and fall of man (Genesis 3:1-24), God commanded Adam and Eve, our first ancestors, not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. After eating from the forbidden tree, Adam and Eve lost their innocence before the Lord God as guilt and shame plagued their conscience (Genesis 3:8-11). Prior to them eating from the tree, Adam and Eve enjoyed a perfect life totally with the Lord God: guilt-free, carefree and fearless (Genesis 2:15-25). As it is,after the fall this guilt, shame and fear possessed the entire human race until One from above came who was sinless, guilt free and fearless to take away our guilt and God’s anger (Isaiah 53:4; John 3:31; 1:29). "But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many" (Romans 5:15).
Therefore, man’s violation of God’s law led to death, and God’s solution was peace through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). Through Christ, our fear of death has been absolved (John 11:25); this is the hope of all Christians who walk in fear of God daily.
The Lord Confirmed Life After Death
Last weekend my family and I attended a funeral for one of my beloved aunts. We had a close relationship; she was like a mother to me, as she helped my mother raise my sister and I when my father was in prison. So I was deeply saddened her passing. She died after suffering a stroke along with with many other internal complications. For the approximately three months that she was bed-ridden, she literally wasted away. Even though the stroke robbed her of her speech, we could still understand some of her murmuring, especially when she called names of individuals, and while begging for mercy and even death to be delivered from the suffering.
When we visited her on December 30, 2014, I asked her if I should pray for her healing. She responded by raising her right arm towards the roof while rolling her eyes upwards indicating to me that she preferred to die; she refused healing. Later on, I sadly learned from the Lord that she did not have faith. At that point, I asked her if she wanted to accept the Lord in her life and she declined, indicating a "no" by shaking her head sideward. During our various visits to her, I encouraged her to read her stop drinking, start reading her Bible and some of the tracts I would leave with her, forgive those who wronged her, and make her life right with God. The weeks leading to her death were marred with excessive screaming and calling of some dead people's names.
It is important to know that God gives perfect peace to those who trust in Him (Isaiah 26:3), but there is no peace or rest for the wicked (Isaiah 48:22). During my aunt's excessive screaming and calling for deceased, people, she had no peace. You may recall our testimony regarding Aunt Lily. Well, in her state of having no peace, this aunt reminded and pleaded with me to go and pray for Aunt Lily.
Before I proceeded to pray for her, I cautioned her that only the Lord decides on whether she must live or die (Luke 12:20). Since I could not pray for her healing or for her death, I asked the Lord to exercise His will and to have mercy on her. As it is, seven (7) days after praying for her, the Lord gave me a vision on January 7, 2015, that He had granted her request and that she was going to die. I was shown in a prophetic vision people gathering at her house and I heard the Lord say: “My daughter Joyce (not real name) is no longer in this life”. The Lord confirmed this same thing to one of my daughters that very same evening in a dream.
You may note that the Lord did not say she was dead but "no longer in this life", meaning she has gone to another life. After considering this vision, I called my aunt's granddaughter on the phone and informed her of the Lord’s decision. I asked to speak to my aunt as well, telling her that death was imminent. Since she could not speak properly but murmured words, the granddaughter told me she shook her head saying she was afraid to die, while I heard her crying and sobbing. I comforted her that the Lord was on the other side waiting for her and that she needs not fear death. After praying for her, I further encouraged her to repent of her guilt and forgive those who wronged her (Luke 6:37; Matthew 6:12). Exactly twenty one (21) days after this vision we received word that she went on to the other life.
Brethren, as a family and ministry, we prayed over several weeks and asked the Lord after a three-day fast which side of the afterlife she went to (Heaven or Hell). This morning (February 16, 2015) around 5:00 AM, I received an answer to this prayer, and this is what the Lord revealed in a short vision. In my desperation for my aunt's salvation, I had prayed every day for her deliverance, healing and salvation. The worst tragedy for any person who dies without Christ, and who never attended church or read the Bible, is that they find it very hard to love God and to fear Him (Deuteronomy 10:12-13). This is a very dangerous position to be in! We must never underestimate the value of BIBLE READING and obedience to God's commands and instructions. These drive away sin, replacing it with a desire to obey God and do right.
Vision of My Aunt's Eternal Destiny
Given to Brother Glenn on February 16, 2015 around 5:00 AM
"I found myself standing in a very dim and untidy room with clothes and things strewn all around. Suddenly, my deceased aunt entered the room shabbily dressed and called me in Afrikaans, as was her custom, using my nickname and saying, "B...Kom, kom ek wil ook nou Bybel lees" (Come, come I also want to read Bible). When she called me, I was frightened to get closer to her, and as she got closer to me I could smell a very foul stench that I cannot explain emanating from her (Isaiah 3:24). I bent down to reach for a cardboard box in front of me, looking for a Bible to give her. After searching through the various items lying all around, I came across a Bible with a black cover, but I was not able to give it to her. The vision ended at that point."
Brethren, I was hesitant to share some of the details here, knowing that some people would label me insensitive, and some will even mock us and regard this vision as false. However, I have permission from the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to share and WARN you all. Everyone who dies without seeking His forgiveness and repenting of their sins, including mockers, unbelievers and worldly Christians, will end up in hell! While the Lord did not show me that she was literally in the flames of Hell, the vision above is confirmation that she did not make it to Heaven.
Right now. while you are still alive and well, is the time to stock up on spiritual oil for your lamps, so that you are not afraid of eternity, but are ready when the Lord Jesus returns or death calls, whichever happens earlier (Matthew 25:1-13):
"For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness" (Psalm 95:7-8; Hebrews 3:7-15).
Jesus Christ, Our Risen Savior, Our Hope
The Lord Jesus Christ is our eternal hope, "...who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). Even though many people today deny the resurrection of the dead and judgment, this kind of thinking is not new, and indeed even in the days of Paul there were such people (1 Corinthians 15:12). In response, Paul boldly asserted:
"But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable (1 Corinthians 15:13-19).In Christ, not only will we be alive after death (1 Corinthians 15:22), but death itself will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26), being cast eternally into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). After death has been destroyed forever, the Lord will comfort His chosen people, removing all shame, reproach and disgrace they suffered for His name (Isaiah 25:8)—"The Lord will wipe every tear from (our) eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things (will have) passed away" (Revelation 21:4). We
Avoiding Eternal Death
The Bible message about victory over death through Christ Jesus is not fictional; it is real! (1 Corinthians 15:56-57). Your fear of death could be turned into joy if you believe and accept God’s gift and Christ’s victory over death for your freedom from it. Without the Lord Jesus, whom both the Bible and historical accounts acknowledge as having died and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:6), you would have reason to fear death. In Christ we believe in the hope of receiving eternal life; He took our guilt, and we know guilt stimulates fear, and that fear is death (1 John 4:18). The fear of the Lord and word of God is a well of life, to keep a man from death and save one from the nets of death (Proverbs 13:14; 14:27). As we continue to seek and follow the Lord faithfully, we can look forward to the following:
He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation” (Isaiah 25:8-9).
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 ”(1 Corinthians 15:54).In conclusion, are you still afraid of death? Are you one of the few living your life holy, partaking of the heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1) and walking on the narrow path that leads to everlasting life (Matthew 7:14); or are you among the many who embrace friendship with the world (James 4:4) and are walking on the wide highway that leads to destruction? (Matthew 7:13). Rest assured that "...the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:28-29).
If you would like to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and escape the snares of death, please get started by praying this
Blessed grace and peace in Christ,
Brother Glenn and Preparing For the Kingdom Ministry Team.