Wednesday, March 4, 2015 4:01 AM

Death for the Believer

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 4:01 AM
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 4:01 AM

Jesus Christ the Messiah has consecrated death for the believer. The Messiah has changed the whole content of death. This does not mean that death is a blessing, for death is never a blessing (1 Cor. 15:26). Death is a product of the Fall and was never part of God’s perfect plan for man. But death does contain a blessing in that, by means of death, the believer goes into the very presence of God at the moment of death (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23). Again, the believer does not fall asleep in his soul, but only in his body, for his soul goes immediately into God’s presence. According to Hebrews 9:27, it is still appointed unto men once to die, but death is simply not the same thing for believers. Death has been consecrated as far as the believer is concerned.

So there is no need for a believer to fear. One of the reasons that Jesus died was to take away the fear of death from man (Heb. 2:14–15). Believers do not need to fear death, realizing that it is the means by which the believer will enter into Heaven. The proper attitude the believer should have regarding death is brought out in the Scriptures.

God’s attitude is given in Psalm 116:15: Precious in the sight of Jehovah Is the death of his saints.

The believer’s attitude is given in several passages:

2 Corinthians 5:1: For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.

2 Corinthians 5:6–8: Being therefore always of good courage, and knowing that, while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord (for we walk by faith, not by sight); we are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord.

Philippians 1:21–23: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if to live in the flesh, if this shall bring fruit from my work, then what I shall choose I know not. But I am in a strait betwixt the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ; for it is very far better.

Another place where the believer’s attitude of death is given is 2 Timothy 4:6–8, where Paul described his attitude toward his own approaching death: For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure is come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing.

The believer’s attitude should be one of recognition that, should he die, he should not fear death but realize that by death he shall be in the very presence of God. For that reason, believers are not to sorrow as the unbelievers who have no hope (1 Thes. 4:13). There is a place for weeping for the loss of a loved one, as Jesus wept over the death of Lazarus in John 11:35. There is a place for weeping and for sorrow, but not the type of sorrow that expresses hopelessness. Sorrow and tears: yes; lamenting and wailing: no.[1]

[1] Fruchtenbaum, A. G. (1983). Vol. 91: The Messianic Bible Study Collection (9–10). Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries.

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