I was recently having a conversation with a friend of mine who is a fellow believer. They expressed being anxious about dying because all they know is here, and they don’t know how things will be on the other side of life. Further, they stated they enjoyed their life and friends and would miss them. I shared some things I hope were comforting, but I walked away a bit devastated and wondering how many other followers of Christ feel as my friend does.
My suspicion is a great number of believers are indeed content with their life and face some trepidation about what the afterlife may hold. I decided to address both those who share the anxiety of my friend, and also those who – like myself – find it very difficult to relate to that line of thinking.
The first thing needing to be said is to remember fear and love are diametrically opposed. Perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). Therefore it follows a fear of death comes not from God, who is the manifestation of perfect love, but rather from Satan who only seeks to kill and destroy. We must recognize the source of the trouble before we can begin to deal with it. Knowing our fear is not from God, we should seek our Father in prayer and ask Him to remove the fear from our heart and replace it with love. Read scriptures about love and God’s love for you. If you are enjoying life on earth, just think what our all-good, all-loving Father has in store for you in a place He created specifically with you in mind!
The second point I feel I must make is to recognize a love for this world has no place in the life of a disciple of Jesus. When Christ is the Lord of your life, nothing else matters. The things of this world fade away and pale in the light of our Savior. A love for this world reveals we are putting our self at the center of our lives. It means we are pursuing our own pleasure, entertainment, and comfort in things that will not last. With this mindset, it is right to be afraid of dying because you will lose everything. You will have traded eternal joy for a few temporary breaths. Jesus said we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). We will hate the one and love the other.
I cannot fathom a fear of spending eternity with Jesus. It’s true we don’t know what Heaven will actually be like, but I don’t care. I’ll be with the One who created me, loves me, and longs to be with me. Only Christ matters to those who have dedicated their lives to Him. I am grateful for every pleasure, every comfort, and every relationship on earth with which I have been blessed. But I won’t miss them. I will have Jesus, and that is all I want. Are you ready to die? For disciples of Jesus, to lose our life is to gain everything for which we’ve ever hoped, dreamed or imagined. Love Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength; rest in the knowledge you will spend eternity in His arms.