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Fear of Death

The fear of death is one of the greatest fears we face. Saul Bellow, the famous novelist said, “The real problem is the problem of death. If people don’t know how to come to terms with it, souls have no preparation. Then the only thing is to be eternally young and in pursuit of pleasure and further sexual and hedonistic horizons.” English essayist J. B. Priestley pointed out that we are frightened by the mere word death and "nowhere more so than in America.”

It was a part of the mission and ministry of Jesus to deliver us from that fear. Hebrews 2:14-15 says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

When we are Christians we no longer fear death. Because of Christ we are certain about the life to come and all fear of the grave is gone. Paul expressed the Christian attitude toward death when he said, “I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you” (Philippians 1:23-24). Paul was not a man fed up with life who saw death as the lesser of two evils. He saw it as the greater of two blessings. To him life was good, but death was better. Nevertheless he was not anxious to go. He felt he was still needed. That is the way every Christian should look at death. He may not be anxious for it, but neither does he fear it. He faces it with the calm assurance that there is a greater life ahead because of what Jesus has done.

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Applied Christianity

I once talked with a man who was convinced that Christianity was a failure. His conclusion was based on the fact that while our cities are full of churches and preachers, our world is getting worse and worse.

If you think about this criticism, you must agree that there is much religion in America that has little effect on the daily lives of people. While the number of church members may grow each year, so does lawlessness and immorality. But does this mean that Christianity is a failure? No. At the close of World War I a soap manufacturer, walking down the street with his pastor, was bemoaning the “failure” of Christianity. He said to his pastor, “After 19 centuries of preaching and teaching Christ, there is still so much evil in the world. I don’t see how you can go on preaching the Gospel.” 

“I don’t see how you can go on manufacturing soap,” retorted the pastor. “Look at the little urchin playing in the gutter. Neck and ears filthy. There’s still so much dirt in the world. Soap is such a failure.”

“But,” countered the soap manufacturer, “If people will just apply the soap, they’ll be clean.”

“Yes,” concluded the pastor, “and if men will but apply Christ to their daily living, they will also be clean.” 

The evil of today’s world is not due to Christianity’s failure, but to our failure to apply our Christianity. As writer G.K. Chesterton said, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and not tried."

Attend church Sunday, listen to God’s word, then apply it to your daily life and you and the world will both be better because of it.

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