Our Reactions to Death
This is something that has been heavy on my heart for a long time now.
Physical death of Christians.
Lately, it seems that our brothers and sisters are dying one way or another. They are dying from sickness or martyrdom. We seem to get very disturbed, depressed, and upset when this happens.
Please do not get me wrong, I am not being morbid or apathetic or callous. I care very much, but being a Christian, death means something else to me, and I am very surprised that others do not have this meaning.
But Jesus had a different view of death. Lately a lot of our elderly family members are dying, or our Christian leaders are dying. When this happens here is what the Lord says to me.
John 12:23 Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
 Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me.
JN 12:27 "Now My heart is troubled, and what shall I say? `Father, save Me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.  Father, glorify Your Name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again."  The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to Him.
JN 12:30 Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not Mine.  Now is the time for judgement on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.  But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."  He said this to show the kind of death He was going to die."
Again He is very strongly feel that death is necessary.
"Mark 8:31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and after three days rise again.  He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
MK 8:33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, He rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" He said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
MK 8:34 Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."
MK 9:1 And He said to them, "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power."
Death is not an evil or bad thing to Jesus; it is the glory of God. To die is to go home. To die is to be out of this corrupt body and be transformed in to the Lord's spiritual body.
Like Paul says in Phillipians 1:20
"Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,  for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.  I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!  I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;  but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,  so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me."
Philippians 3:17 "Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.  For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.  But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,  who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."
The Lord's point of view of death shows here what is really important in Matthew 10:26.
"So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.  What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.  Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny ? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
REV 20:11 "Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.  The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.  If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
The second death is the one to fear, not the physical death.
John 5:24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.  I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.  For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself.  And He has given Him authority to judge because He is the Son of Man.
John 5:28 "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice  and come out--those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.  By Myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is just, for I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me."
Many think that death will hold a lot of suffering. But with Jesus as our Lord He ensures that we do not suffer, as in Acts 7:59
"While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."  Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep."
To the Lord physical death is sleep.
See John 11:11
"After He had said this, He went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."
JN 11:12 His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better."  Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
JN 11:14 So then He told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead,  and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."
JN 11:16 Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."
JN 11:17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.  Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,  and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him, but Mary stayed at home.
JN 11:21 "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."
JN 11:23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
JN 11:24 Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
JN 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies;  and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"
JN 11:27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
So the full truth is that He holds the keys to live and death.
"REV 1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."
WE need to TRUST the Lord.
John 16:31 "You believe at last!" Jesus answered.  "But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
 "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
So These things must come to pass before the Lord returns.
LK 21:12 "But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.  This will result in your being witnesses to them.  But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.  You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.  All men will hate you because of me.  But not a hair of your head will perish.  By standing firm you will gain life..
This is the real warning for Christians.
Luke 21:34 "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.  For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.  Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."
Matthew 24:42 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
MT 24:45 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?  It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.  I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.  But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, `My master is staying away a long time,'  and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.  The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.  He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
MT 25:1 "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish and five were wise.  The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.  The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.  The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
MT 25:6 "At midnight the cry rang out: `Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
MT 25:7 "Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.  The foolish ones said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'
MT 25:9 " `No,' they replied, `there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
MT 25:10 "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
MT 25:11 "Later the others also came. `Sir! Sir!' they said. `Open the door for us!'
MT 25:12 "But he replied, `I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'
MT 25:13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
So we must be wise Children of God who watch and are prepared. Here is what we need to pray for our brothers and sisters. This is to ensure that they do not fall into the second death.
As Paul says in Ephesians 5:15
"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise,  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
But rather that the Lord would have us pray for the ones who are doing the killing. We need to pray for their salvation. They are the ones who have a greater chance of going through the second death and really die. If we prayed and saved all those doing the killing, then the killing will stop. I am not saying that we should not pray for those brothers and sisters that are being killed, but they are saved. Jesus came to save the sinner not one who is already saved.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.  Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because He has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of Light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and will not come into the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the Light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
So we need to have prayer groups and prayer time for the sinners.
We need to turn on the Light and not spend time driving out the dark. Evil will leave when we turn on Jesus the Light of the world.
God bless you and your family