Death, why does it seem scary? Why do we die? Why do Christians die? This article attempts to answer these, does it or doesn’t it? You are free to comment after reading through.
“Happy New Month Gift”
We all hate the sound of the word however whenever we are in a funeral or we read of several horrible deaths killing a lot of people at the same time we are reminded of the fact that this thing called Death is very close to us and is responsible for rendering life so meaningless.
I have seen several deaths myself. I have even watched someone being beat to death years ago on a bright morning while wearing my uniform to go to School 1 . Again, I have seen mangled bodies on the expressway. In fact I have seen a man’s body parts in several pieces divided asunder by the force of an accident on our roads as I continued my journey. In those moments I feel bad, but then the badness wears off almost immediately. I shrug, “na so e just be” and move on with my life. I sometimes imagine dying suddenly and whether anyone will cry or feel hurt at all. But then I brush off the thoughts. They’re negative thoughts they say, and we shouldn’t worry about those.
Nothing prepared me for the very sudden departure of my mom on the 1st of April 2016. Something like a queer ‘Happy New Month’ gift from the Authority that decides everyone’s life length.
I am a Christian and I believe that God is good. I believe also that His plans for us are really wonderful. I believe on the strength of Isaiah 57 verses 1 and 22 , that God can remove a Christian for far grander reasons. But really I didn’t think that those beliefs would be engaged by me ever. I never thought I would one day use all such understanding. In fact I used it in comforting other people. It was a portion for others not for me. Until that day.
All my skills in cooling others down would now be now self-medicated. It was quite queer though.
Now I have had several thoughts on the matter. And I have been able to outline reasons a Christian could ever die.
Reasons a Christian Could Die
1) If the Christian backslid: if a Christian ever backslides, the devil’s best shot is to kill her. And ‘backsliding’ here doesn’t mean a Christian falling inadvertently into sin; we mean a situation where a Christian clearly denounces her faith in Jesus. Except the Christian’s backsliding would serve the devil the purpose of expanding his kingdom.
2) If the Christian neglects his health. Since we still have our bodies in physical temples, it is possible to stress up the body so much that the person begins to deteriorate health wise. Jesus Himself was hungry after he had starved the physical body of food for 40 days 3. It could also be that the Christian had neglected his medicines without directions from God to that effect. And so he dies because he made the mistake of leaving the medicines out. Paul, a man used to several miracles and raising of the dead advised a mentee to take some wine for his frequent illness 4 . This is instructive.
3) If God decides to call her home: this is an exercise of the sovereignty of His Ultimate Majesty. He can decide that any of His children should come home at any time and no one can do anything about it. It is people who are still alive that venture into looking for ‘death clues’. Several holy men and women have died suddenly, for example James 5 , Babalola 6 , Benson Idahosa 7 and Stella Ihejirika 8 .
It is important that we point out that God’s sovereignty over the matter of the death of His children may even take into cognizance the neglect by a holy man of his health. For example, John Hyde died early of a damaged heart due to severe agonizing prayers 9.
For the person who does not believe in Jesus, the situation is grim. And there are documented near death experiences to prove this 10 . A Christian dies at peace. This can lead us to conclude on available scientific evidence that it is better to die a Christian.
So why does God not deliver a Christian from death? Because death is not the ultimate bad thing. In fact death is not a bad thing. Death is the only means by which a Christian comes before God except for Rapture. And then it is a very precious thing 11 for God for any of His Children to come to Him. So from our perspective it looks real bad but actually it is a good thing. A Christian returns to her Father, her precious Lord, in order to enjoy an eternity in His presence.
Then why do Christians cry when someone dies? We cry because we still carry corruptible flesh and the flesh misses the company of the person it used to know. But in our heart of hearts, we know the person is in a better place.
So does it mean that a Christian can die anytime? Absolutely not. For a Christian, his life is hidden in God. We live for a timed purpose in this side of reality. God preserves a Christian until he fulfills the mandate upon his life or at least sets the mandate in motion so that it can continue when he is gone. But then every Christian knows we will not live forever and so pursues his purpose with dispatch. The idea is this, God gives a Christian a purpose and a time to fulfill the same purpose, guards her as she fulfils her purpose and takes her when her time is up.
So are we fatalists? No. we fight to live and make life comfortable on Earth. Do we believe that we will elongate our earthly lives due to our efforts? No. we know it is God who decides the length of our lives.
So where does this all leave us? Every Christian must endeavour to take her health seriously. Do the check-ups and the exercises. If for anything, check-ups are always way cheaper than burials. Refuse to eat unhealthy foods and take every necessary health caution; but realize too that the length of your life is a knowledge not granted to you and work hard to fulfil God’s mandate in your life.
And yes, death is not a bad thing.
- Secondary school.
- The portion reads ‘Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.(NLT)
- Matthew 4 verse 2
- 1 Timothy 5 verse 23: Don’t drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often. (NLT)
- Acts 12 verse 2.
- The founder of Christ Apostolic Church.
- The popular evangelist and Pioneer of the Church of God Mission.
- My own Sugar Mummy
- The book ‘Praying Hyde’ provides further information.
- The book ‘Voices from the edge of eternity’ by David Ogbueli addresses this.
- There is an article by Charles Finney ‘The death of saints precious’ available on gospeltruth.net that addresses this issue squarely.