I am scared to die…Is that normal?
I once heard an acrostic to describe fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. I think that describes what Christians deal with when thinking about life after bodily death. Since we cannot see heaven we tend to cling to what is tangible. We grieve the passing of loved ones and see sickness as the ultimate enemy to avoid or conquer, and rightly so. It is a sign of emotional health to grieve a loss and engage in behaviors that maintain bodily heath. The challenge, however, is to not put on hope in things governed by the law of atrophy but keep our confidence in knowing the best is yet to come.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. (John 14:1-3)
Jesus is comparing His coming, departure, and return to the customs of first century Jewish betrothal. The groom would leave his home and go and search for a bride. Once found he would pay the bride price to proceed with marriage. Once accepted, the groom would leave his betrothed and return to his Father’s house to prepare a home for the couple to be together. After roughly twelve months (no exact time was given to the bride) the groom would return to take his bride to the home he had prepared. Once together, the groom’s family would throw a seven-day party to celebrate and upon the ending of the party the couple would consummate their union.
God, the Father, sent His Son into the world:
1 John 4:9
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
We were bought with a price:
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Act 20: 28
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
Jesus left to go and prepare a place:
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
We do not know when Jesus will return:
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
When Jesus does return, he will take His bribe away to be with Him:
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17
14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
When God’s children (Jesus’ bride) know the truth we can put to rest the insecurity of this life being the best. In fact, those who have faith in Jesus are able to have confidence when circumstances are doubtful, joy when things are difficult, and hope when others are fearful. God’s children adopted by their faith in Jesus do not look towards Washington D.C. for their security, but towards the sky awaiting their Savior to once and for all take them where their heart already exists.