It is difficult to talk about death in public. Not because this topic is hard to discuss, but because it is always a taboo. We do not like to talk about it. We seldom think about it, because it is too horrible and painful. However, the less we talk about death, the more we fear about it.
Why are we so fearful about death? Why death is so scary? There are three reasons why people fear about death:
1. We do not know where we go after death;
2. We do not like being separated from our family;
3. We are afraid of regrets.
But when we look at Paul, we do not find any sign that he feared about death. On the contrary, even though Paul was always living in the shadow of death, his heart was always filled with joy, strength, and hope. Why?
1. Paul knew exactly when to go after death
He knew that he will be with the Lord. His hope for the future was so overwhelming that it took all of his fear about death away.
2. Paul did not see death as permanent.
Paul used the term “asleep” rather than “dead” in 1 Thessalonians to describe those who passed away, because he did not see death as permanent. One day, everybody will be raised again, like Jesus, and those who believed will be with the Lord forever. Jesus is the “first fruit” of those who were fallen asleep. His resurrection assured the resurrection of everybody.
3. Paul was not hindered by his regret
Did Paul have regrets? Surely he did. He persecuted Christians. However, after his repentance, he dedicated himself wholeheartedly to serve the Lord. Even though he was a sinner in the past, he did not allow his regrets to hinder his life but lived fully and faithfully.
For Paul, death is not the end, but the gateway leading into eternity.
1. Are you afraid of death? Where does this fear come from?
2. If death is not the end but the gateway into eternity, are you still afraid of death?
3. How do you live your life today, so that there will be no regret when you leave this world?