Jump Start # 2996
Luke 12:4 “Now I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.”
These words are shocking to us. Death is often perceived as the worst thing that could happen. When the medical tests reveal that a person has “Stage 4” or that it is necessary to call Hospice, gloom and doom seem to fill the atmosphere. What possibly could be worse? That’s a thought.
Jesus was reminding His followers that this journey they were on wasn’t a trip to the theme park. Persecution, abuse, ridicule, abandonment, and even death is what follows those that follow Jesus. The life of the apostles illustrated this. But what the Lord was telling the disciples was even the worst isn’t that bad. There is no greater weapon than death. Someone can end your life here, but they can’t touch your soul. Your life can end here, but your life never ends. You simply move to the next room where the Lord is.
So, what possibly could be worse than death?
First, living a life without God. This is where many are today. They hide behind smiles and empty pleasures and sin that they believe satisfies. But without realizing it, they ware living without hope. They walk this world as enemies of God. They are on their own and a time will come when no one will be able to help them. They have gotten themselves into situations in which only the Lord can change, but they don’t realize this. Life without God is what Hell will be like.
Second, living a life of constant criticism and negativism. Nothing is ever right for such a person. One is never pleased. Always unhappy. Always upset. Always focusing upon what’s wrong and never counting the blessings in life. Sour. Miserable. Raining on everyone else’s happy day. No joys. No positive footprints left for others. Rather than being thankful, helpful and appreciative of the blessings and joys of God, this one is living as if they were already dead. What a waste to miss the beauties of the Lord.
Third, a life without any friends. Some would rather be friends with their TV and tablets and have people at a distance. God made us to fellowship. We need connections and interactions. We benefit from one another. We help each other. We gain accountability when we are connected to others. We encourage and serve when we are with others. God said it was not good for man to be alone. Alone in a crowded world. Alone in a crowded church building. Alone in a crowded house. Alone, because one has chosen to be that way. Alone, with nothing to share. Alone, with no one to discuss things with. Alone invites discouragement, depression and unhealthy thoughts. What’s worse than death? Walking through life without a friend.
Fourth, living a life worrying about death. Some are so focused upon death that they can’t see anything else. It’s more than trying to be healthy, it’s a fear of death. That fear leads to one chasing every fad imagined to keep one alive. What’s missing in this person’s life is faith. Because of Jesus, the fear of death has been conquered. God gives us the victory through Jesus Christ. What likely happens is that a person who fears death will invite death by worrying so much about it. Live freely in Jesus. God has this. You’ll be ok in Jesus. Death is merely a door into the next room in God’s house. To get to that room, you must go through the door. But it’s only a door. It’s not the end. Faith, hope and a good knowledge of Scriptures will push that worry out of a person. It will help them to see what really matters.
Fifth, living a fake life of hypocrisy. That’s worse than death. One tries to fool others. One isn’t tries to please everyone except the Lord. No one really knows who this person is, because he is always wearing masks. Is he worldly? Is he righteous? He doesn’t know. And, this doubled minded person is miserable. He has too much of the world in him to be righteous. He has just enough of the Bible in him to make him feel guilty for being worldly. Not content. Not joyous. He tries to serve two masters at the same time and the Lord has said no one can do that. The sad thing about the hypocrite is that he has fooled everyone, including himself, but he has never once fooled the Lord. God knows the heart. God sees our motives. The hypocrite is trying to gain advantage by fooling others. Usually it catches up with him and he is exposed. Then his house of cards will come tumbling down upon him.
Death isn’t the worse thing that can happen. Paul described some worldly minded as “Being dead while they lived.” They were dead in purpose, motives, faith and heart. What’s worse than death? A failure to live.
For the Christian, the call of death is nothing more than the bell ringing for us to come home. Home, it’s where we need to be. Home is where we belong. Death isn’t the worst…not by a long shot.