Fear Not Death (Thoughts on FEAR – 2) 

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?; for to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord

“Fear not life” may be very startling message from the Lord Jesus to His children, but “fear not death”, is truly staggering. The great enemy of mankind is death and death will be the last enemy to be destroyed. Death is a cruel, implacable and awful enemy.. rightly labelled the King of Terrors. Death is an un-surveyed land. Death is unchartered waters. Death is undiscovered knowledge. Death is an unfamiliar path and an untravelled journey. Death is a once for all experience – for all.. save those who cannot relinquish its secrets.

Process of Dying
Breathing out the last breath of life and giving up the spirit is one simple, short act.. but disentanglement of the soul from the body is an unknown to all whose blood is living. And saints for centuries have faced the unknown, for little is explained about the process of dying. Death was never God’s intent for man. Death is the utterly unnatural. Man was not intended to die.. but by man and man’s sin came death. Man was not made mortal. Man was made a living soul, in-breathed with God’s life, but the wages of sin are death.. and death bears the wrath of God, and yet we are comforted by Christ’s astonishing proclamation to not fear death. But how can He make this claim? Why can He brim with confidence, in His announced words of comfort?

Death Conquered
Because He trod this path of death before us, and triumphed over the last enemy:- I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore. Revelation 1:18 He is able to make the bold claim – I fought Death; I conquered Death; I abolished Death. He alone is able to announce:- Death has no more sting to him that believes on me. Rather than death becoming a feared foe – death becomes a welcome friend. Death becomes the gateway to Life – and Life more abundantly.

Gateway to Life
Recently my own father exhaled his last gasp of air as death claimed its latest ‘victim.’ As I stood and looked at the empty shell that my father cast off…  I was truly able to claim: Oh death where is your sting and victory…1 Corinthians 15:55  for to be absent from the body – is to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:6 This truth is faithful and glorious to all who trust in His name. This truth is as steadfast and sure for the cherished wife taken through cancer..  the young man cut down in his prime..  the little innocent who barely drew breath. Ahh, we may sorrow, at times and our hearts may grieve as we say farewell.. to a dearly loved one, whom we know we will never see again in this life – but praise God. We know Him Who through death, destroyed the power of death.

Victory in Christ
O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law – but thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren – be steadfast, immovable.. always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

Bible References

18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15

15 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?

31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.

48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

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I exalt you Lord, and adore you all the days of my life.

The Way to Life