Death, the inevitable.
We were saying our usual grace, and the girls ended off with an amen. Then EX, my 4.5 year old turned to her grandpa, my dad, and said, “Those who don’t believe in God, will go to health.”
She repeated once more, and then turned to me and asked if her pronunciation was correct. “It’s health right?”
I was put in an awkward position because my dad is a unbeliever of Christ. So I tried to ask where she learned that from to divert her attention. But when she kept coming back to ask if she said it correctly, I said, “Those who believe in God will go to heaven.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”John 11:25-26
Interestingly, I was thinking about death recently. I wanted to blog about that tiny reflection, but procrastination got the better of me. But God’s intervention is greater – I kept coming across the topic of death. EX mentioned death, a Christian ex-journalist on the topic of death, the church shared details of a beloved pastor’s funeral on telegram (and later eulogy during service), a friend asking about drafting will, and another friend telling me about LPA. Lastly, I was watching a new documentary on Billy Graham, and in it was a press interview where he said that he is not afraid of death.
To be honest, I’m afraid. First of how I’m going to die — I don’t want to die painfully, like in accident or some painful sickness. So I always pray I will die peacefully. Then, even as a Christian, I still have fleeting doubts on life after death – blame it on my little faith. What if whatever I believe in is wrong? However for me, Christianity seems to be a safest bet for me to get a ticket to heaven through Jesus Christ. I pray I will come to a place where I can say with the conviction Billy Graham had, that I’m not afraid of death and I look forward to meeting with Jesus face to face.
But these nights, the thing I contemplated whenever I close my eyes to sleep is not about the above, but more of what’s going to be like immediately after we die. When we slip from life to death. Will we face total darkness, thrust into a fourth dimension, or rocket into heaven? I had thought of it before, and again the conclusion is the same this time. God has allowed us to experience a shadow of it — sleeping. Btw, this has no biblical basis, just my own musing.
Our consciousness for the duration of our sleep is “unaccounted” for. We suddenly “die” in the night and wake up in the day. So could death be similar? Sleeping (very deeply this time) when our heartbeat stop and then when we wake up, we will be in a very different place.
Bible seems to suggest that the righteous dead awaits in the Bosom of Abraham for judgment Day. So how does it feel like? Again, the shadow of it could be our dreams. We might be there at the bosom like we are dreaming but in fact we are truly there. When we dream, it can get so real sometimes that our heart palpitates and we get sweaty. Could it be we were really there in that other dream realm?
So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.Luke 16:22
Hell seems like too harsh a word to say it in the face of an unbeliever who is close to you. So I was hesitant to say the word in front of my dad. It makes hell feel more real. It’s real, just that sometimes living on earth makes it seems faraway and unreal. The use of the word hell and rage of Halloween is making people desensitised to the horrors of it.
(Sidetrack: Halloween decor and costumes will implant seeds of fear in children. So if you have a choice, please excercise it for the good of the next generation. Even adults can be affected!)
So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.Matthew 13:49-50
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.Matthew 25:46
EX’s statement reminds me of the doom and gloom pastors of the past. Yet the politically right generation has forgotten that sometimes things must be delivered plainly in truth to give us a wake up call to eternal reality. Some unbelievers are so hard to get through that this might smack right through to them.
So EX statement and question is a wake-up call for my dad and me.
For Christians to keep praying for the salvation of our loved ones.
For unbelievers to seriously consider what really happens after death. Study the texts of whatever faith/science you believe in and judge for yourself. Ultimately you are responsible in choosing the type of life after death.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?
For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:20-23