To Promote a Fortitude of Mind Against the Fear of Death

Twitter Business Social Media Infographic.pngDr. John Gill observes,

That Christ has abolished death as a penal evil, so that it will never be inflicted on the believer by way of punishment. The sting of death is taken away by Christ, which is sin, and a very venomous sting it is, and death thus armed is to be feared; but when its sting is taken out of it, it is not to be dreaded. Any insect with a sting we are naturally afraid of, but if its sting is removed we have no fear of it, though it flies and buzzes about us; so in a view of death being unsung, the believer may sing and say, Death, “where is thy sting?” and be fearless of it.

Death to believers is a privilege and blessing; it has a place in their inventory of goods that belong unto them, “death is yours;” it is an happiness to them, “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord;” since they are by it delivered from all evils, from all outward afflictions and inward troubles; from a body of sin and death, under which they now groan being burdened; from the world and its snares, and from Satan and his temptations; and therefore are more happy than living saints; besides they are with Christ, enjoying communion with him, and beholding his glory, which is much better than to be in the present state.

Death, though it separates soul and body, and one friend from another, it does not separate from the love of God, but lets in to the more glorious discoveries and enjoyment of it. It is precious in the sight of the Lord, and therefore saints should not shrink at it themselves.

It is but once, it is appointed for men once to die, and no more; and it will soon be over, and issue in an happy endless eternity; and when the body dies the soul does not, but immediately enters into a state of glory; death is the inlet into it, and the beginning of it; the birthday of an eternal world of bliss: besides there will be a resurrection of the body, when it will be fashioned like to the glorious body of Christ, and will be raised in interruption, in power, in glory, and a spiritual body; so the saints will be no losers but gainers by, death, and therefore need not fear it: the resurrection of the body yields comfort in the view of death, and amidst present afflictions, as it did to Job (Job 19:25-27).

Be it that death is an enemy, as it is contrary to nature, it is the last enemy that shall be destroyed; and when that is conquered, the victory will be complete over every enemy, sin, Satan, the world, death, and the grave.

Besides these things which may serve to promote a fortitude of mind against the fear of death; it may be proper frequently to meditate upon it, to think of it as near at hand, and to make it familiar to us by saying as Job did (Job 17:14), by considering it as going to our God and Father, to our home, to our Father’s house; by going to bed and resting in it; and by sleeping, and that in the arms of Jesus. [Practical Theology, book 1, chapt. 18]

 

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