of Death" !!
Sir Francis Bacon concluded: "Men fear death, as children fear to go in the dark; William Shakespeare wrote: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
Download a beautiful, FULL color poster, "It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance, Excerpt from the song - The Rose, by Amanda McBroom
and as that natural fear in children is increased by tales, so is the other."
“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste death but once.”
I will fear no evil, for You are with me. ** Psalm 23:4
"Though Love be Lost, Lovers Shall Not - and Death Shall Have NO Dominion"
It's the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance,
It's the one who won't be taken who cannot seem to give,
and the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live."
William Shakespeare wrote:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
Download a beautiful, FULL color poster,
"It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance,
Excerpt from the song - The Rose, by Amanda McBroom
Today's society seems to be overwhelmed by FEAR -- Fear of Disease, Fear of Poverty, Fear of Violence, Fear of Rejection, Fear of Aging, Fear of Losing Our Vitality, Fear of Failure, Fear of Others, etc. -- Psychosis and Neurosis abounding !! While, materially and technologically, we are one of the wealthiest societies in the world and in history, yet we are, IN FACT, one of the poorest !!
3:17 Because you say, "I am rich and have acquired great wealth, and need nothing," but do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, 3:18 take my advice and buy gold from me refined by fire so you can become rich! Buy from me white clothing so you can be clothed and your shameful nakedness will not be exposed, and buy eye salve to put on your eyes so you can see! ** Revelation
What we no longer have is a sense of Moral Direction or National Heritage. We don't know Who or What We Are, either individually or as a Nation. We have NO Foundation - no "Sense of the Absolute". Our present society is build upon the Shifting Sands of Contemporary Theories, Feel-good Platitudes, and unfounded, untested Opinions.
7:24 "Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. 7:25 The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, but it did not collapse because it had been founded on rock. 7:26 Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 7:27 The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, and it collapsed; it was utterly destroyed!" ** Matthew
Our compass is broken and our rudder is gone. We are adrift on the Sea of Self Gratification, trapped in the Abyss of Relativity, listening to ANY con man, huckster, or charlatan that comes along with a persuasive pitch -- each of us, "Doing that which seems right in our OWN eyes" Judges 17:6 ("Without a purpose, the people perish" Prov 29:18) !!
3:1 Know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3:3 without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, 3:4 traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 3:5 holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these, also. 3:6 For some of these are people who creep into houses, and take captive gullible women (AND MEN) loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 3:7 always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. ** 2 Timothy
Take special note of verse 7, for it is a perfect description of the state of our present society. Our self-proclaimed, "Prophets of Relativism" openly propagate their destructive heresy that, "There are NO Moral Absolutes. All situations are governed by the relative needs of expedience" !!
We pride ourselves upon being a "Free Nation", and worship to the point of fanaticism at the "Alter of Personal Rights and Freedoms", yet we are slaves and don't even know it !! We are in much the same state of mind as were the Jews at the time of Jesus. They were then little more than slaves to the Roman Empire, and had been enslaved by many nations throughout their history. Yet when Jesus confronted them, they were blinded to His Words by their own abundant arrogance.
8:31 Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, "If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples 8:32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 8:33 "We are descendants of Abraham," (We are Americans) they replied, "and have never been anyone’s slaves! How can you say, ‘You will become free’?" 8:34 Jesus answered them, "I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. 8:36 So if the son sets you free, you will be really free. ** John
The purpose of this article is not to discuss our Economic or
Social Slavery. That is discussed in another article
(Click Here) to skip directly to the section concerning Physical Death.
(Click Here) to skip directly to the section concerning Physical Death.
What I want to address at the moment is what I consider to be the Root Cause of our Moral Slavery. It is, I believe, as stated in God's Word, that the bulk of mankind is indeed, "Held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death".
2:14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in their humanity, so that through death he could destroy the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), 2:15 and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death. ** Hebrews
From the beginning, concerning death as well as all other matters, Man choose to listen to the lies of the Serpent rather than the Word of God. Thus, throughout his recorded history, Man has reaped the death, devastation, and destruction due to his choice. As we can see from Genesis 3:22, physical death was a Mercy from God, that Man's Evil would not continue to grow and increase forever, in ever magnifying proportions !! To this day, however, Satan continues to delude, persuade, and control man with his original lie, "Surely you will not die !!"
2:15 The Lord God took the man and placed him in the orchard in Eden to care for and maintain it. 2:16 Then the Lord God commanded the man, "You may freely eat fruit from every tree of the orchard, 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die." 3:2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit from the trees of the orchard; 3:3 but concerning the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the orchard God said, ‘You must not eat from it, and you must not touch it, or else you will die.’" 3:4 The serpent said to the woman, "Surely you will not die, 3:22 And the Lord God said, "Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not be allowed to stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." ** Genesis
God's decree upon Adam was NOT, as many would suggest, some arbitrary pronouncement or punishment. It was the logical consequence of Adam's transgression of the "Laws of Creation or the Universe". God created His universe to function according to certain Laws or Principles. One of these, the foundation stone of modern physics, says it thusly, "For EVERY action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". God's Word states it so:
6:7 Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 6:8 For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. ** Galatians
It ALSO answers three questions posed by many:
(1.) "If God REALLY wanted to forgive
Adam, why didn't He just DO so instead of putting into action this complex plan
of salvation ??"
The answer to these and related questions is that Adam, by his action, unleashed into the universe forces that would require
equal and opposite forces to countermand them. William Law, an English mystic from the 1700's, addresses this question with profound clarity in one of his writings, "The Spirit of Prayer". An excerpt from this manuscript, addressing the issue in hand, may be read at the following link:.
Also, an eBook, containing "The Collected Works of William Law" may be downloaded
Also, an eBook, containing "The Collected Works of William Law" may be downloaded HERE.
Our energies and resources are consumed clawing our way out of our "Virtual Tomb", constantly at war with our "Phantom Enemy", Death. He appears to contemporary man in many forms, wearing many disguises. I am NOT here referring ONLY to physical death. I believe THAT is the least of his arsenal. He has much bigger and more devastating weapons at his disposal !!
First and foremost, there is the "Death to Self" (called in the Scriptures the "death of the old or natural man") -- to allow that prideful, egotistic, all-consuming, clawing, self-centered, always right, scheming, devouring monster within to die. I am not necessarily here referring to what we would call "Sin", though that is certainly included. I am talking about moving from an Egocentric (I centered) existence to a God-centered (other centered) life.
The stiff necked adolescent (child) within will not learn from anyone. He MUST be always right, MUST be always in charge, MUST always have his own way. Anything else will be construed by his fragile Self (ego) as a death to Self -- to who he REALLY is. Isn't the Rallying Banner of this present Age, "I Gotta Be ME - I Gotta Do It MY Way - I Can't Compromise My REAL Self, My Inner Integrity" !! Whenever I hear someone ranting on about, "Finding their Inner Child", I cringe. What we really need is to find our "Inner Adult". We are already a society of "Perpetual Children" -- and spoiled ones at that !!
You wonder why marriages are dissolving right and left ? How can two "would be little gods", each vying to be "Master of the Universe", possible unite in a mutually edifying and upbuilding relationship, where the two merge into one spiritual being ?? God tells us that unless we will allow the husk of protection around that "Self" to be broken, we WILL remain alone -- cut off from God, cut off from becoming what we truly were meant to be in this life, and cut off from the world of others around us.
12:24 I tell you the solemn truth, unless a kernel
of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself --
alone. But if it dies, it produces much grain. 12:25 The one who loves his life destroys it, and the one
who hates his life in this world guards it for age-long life. **
11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and
burdened, and I will give you rest. 11:29 Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am
gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
11:30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry." **
11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 11:29 Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 11:30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry." ** Matthew
Contrary to what MOST Christians seem to understand the "Christian Life" to consist of, Jesus and the Holy Spirit did NOT come to help us lead better lives, to become better people, or EVEN to help CHANGE us to become "more like Christ". In one of his books, "The Normal Christian Life", Watchman Nee emphasizes the fact that Christianity promises NOT a "changed" life but rather an EXCHANGED life. As Paul points out in the scripture below, the Holy Spirit has come so that our OLD life may be put to death (crucified) in order that He might give us a whole NEW life -- the Life of Christ, living and working through these "vessels of clay" !!!
6:3 Do you not know that as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may live a new life. 6:5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection. 6:6 We know that our old man was crucified (killed) with Him (Jesus) so that the body of sin would no longer dominate us, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. . 6:11 So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. **** Romans
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. **** Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. **** Galatians 2:20
Second (perhaps it overlaps number one), there is the "Death of Ego" -- We dare not appear incompetent, inferior, unintelligent, unpopular, unloved or incapable in any area. We dare not admit that we do not know, that we can not accomplish, or most horrifying of all -- that we are WRONG. We dare not appear weak -- to humble ourselves and apologize, to take the "Second Seat" (or the third, forth or fifth) We must be ALWAYS RIGHT -- We must be NUMBER ONE !!
Third, there is the "Death of Loss or Separation". There is the separation from emotional ties and loved ones - This becomes especially acute as we enter the older years of our life. However, the "DEATH" need not be physical, it may also be physiological or emotional - a drifting apart or a divorce. When Adam died that day in the Garden of Eden, he didn’t die physically. However, something within him died, and he struggled with that loss until the day he physically died. Death involves more than the cessation of physical life. Death is separation. It is an inner emptiness, isolation, and loneliness that results from the severed bond between creature and creature OR Creator and creature. It was the coming separation from the Father that Jesus Himself dreaded as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew Chapters 26 and 27).
Finally, we come to the forth "Death", "Death of the Body". The fear that paralyzes our society regarding this phantom is easier to see. It is manifested in our current "Youth Mania". Everyone wants to remain perpetually young, not only of body but of emotion and of mind. On the surface, this might not seem like such a bad thing, except that exercised in the manner in which it is exploited by the "Money Makers and Social Shakers", it results in a society of absurd "Emotional and Intellectual Adolescents" -- those in ageing bodies who have never developed their mind, emotions, and spirit on to adult maturity. More pitiful yet is the aging woman, continually bowed down before some imaginary fountain of youth (wherever the "Money Changers" can make the most profit), never growing old gracefully, never adorned by the "Beauty of a Mature and Godly Spirit", but rather seeking endlessly to maintain the Phantasmal illusion of physical youth.
For some, there may be a fifth and final "Death", referred to in the Scriptures (Revelations 2:11, 20:6,14, 21:8) as, "the Second Death". That, however, is outside our current scope of discussion, and I am not going to address it here.
Don't totally misunderstand me. Exercise, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, developing our minds to the fullest, developing and maintaining maximum emotional health and vigor -- God asks all of these of us in order to maintain His Temple -- US. The difference is TOTALLY in the goal which we are pursuing. Is it the healthy pursuit of life and vigor so that we might become ALL that He designed us to be in order that we might better serve Him and reflect His Glory, or is it the neurotic flight to outdistance Death ??
Then there is the much more direct "Death Avoidance" -- obsessive health technology. I am NOT here referring to normal health care and maintenance practices, but rather to that which endeavors to keep the body functioning LONG after the spirit has been called home to its owner, God. It is one thing to use medical technology to supplement the body's own healing properties (good doctors acknowledge that THEY can not heal the body, but merely facilitate its own recuperative powers). It is QUITE ANOTHER when the body can no longer remain "Alive" without mechanical assistance. Often bodies are maintained in a state of "functionality" long after all real "Life" has departed, merely to fulfill the selfish desire of some relative who is unwilling to allow the person to properly depart.
In other cases, the person him(her)self attempts to clutch on to the last "Breath of Life" at ALL costs (emotional, physical, and financial). Heroic (so they are called) efforts are expended so that a dying, disease ridden, decaying body can be kept functional for another day, another week, another month ?? This, at the financial cost of often 10's or 100's of thousands of dollars. Does this sound cruel and callous - what would I say and do if it were MY loved one you ask ??
First, I ask you, is it NOT cruel and callous to deny medical care to many young who could be returned to a healthy, full life so that one who is "at Death's Door" can be maintained for another day, or week, or month ?? Our medical facilities and budgets are limited, and can only serve so many !! What would I say if it were MY loved one?? If their life was ONLY being maintained by mechanical means, in a condition of misery and suffering, I would say, "Let them go home to their Father in Heaven who is calling them". Yes, I would grieve over their absence in my life, but should MY pain be inflicted upon them by forcing them to remain in a state of "Psudo-Death" ??
I would like also to point out an interesting paradox in today's society, which, uncorrected, will lead to it's ultimate extinction. It is this, "We are murdering our unborn to the tune of millions per year. On the other hand, we are extending the age limit longer and longer, while at the same time keeping alive those who, perhaps, God wishes to come home. This will ultimately result in a society peopled predominately by the older and aged, the least productive age group. When this occurs, who will run the machinery of society, fight its wars, provide for its economy." ?? Our Social Security System is already on the point of collapse because of this phenomenon !!
Totally lost to most of contemporary society (the ancients DID understand this concept) is the fact that Death was not intended to be looked upon as an enemy to be dreaded, but as another aspect of life. Sad to say, Christians, the ONE group who SHOULD know better, are often caught up in the same misguided mindset regarding this topic as is the rest of society.
My wife and I were having dinner with one of her relatives one day. The topic somehow turned to death. After a while, the person commented that she was happy to FINALLY meet two Christians who REALLY believed what they claimed. She said that most Christians that she talked to seemed to be as afraid of death, and as reluctant to talk meaningfully about it, as were most of the non-Christians that she knew !!
Actually, at least judging by some of the television shows, some non-Christians seem to have a MUCH better grasp of the subject than do their Christian counterparts. Though they might not admit it, I believe that for many Christians, their view of death, heaven, and the afterlife has never progressed much further than the, "angles floating on the clouds playing harps and watching the living moving down below; and being reunited with our loved ones at some ideal age, to live together happily everafter" childlike caricature. At least in the TV show, "Babylon 5", I find characters like Delenn, a leader of the Religious Cast on the planet Minbari, expressing views like, "Death is merely an extension of life, another phase to pass into for further growth and maturity. Death is not to be feared, but at the proper time, to be accepted and embraced as the means to move on to a higher level of life and existence". While it is true that the movie espoused the false concept of reincarnation, and that Delen's philosophy is merely that of one or more of the Eastern Religions, it is non-the-less FAR truer than most Christian's view on the subject (IF they actually have one).
While the TRUE progression of growth SHOULD be: birth, babyhood, childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle age, old age, death, and finally, "the ages-to-come" -- for most, Death marks the termination, the end of life and practical existence. To them, beyond lies the shadowy underworld of "The Grave", inhabited by ghouls, dark spirits, monsters, and maybe even Satan himself.
Jesus VERY succinctly pointed out the reason for this condition: For most, their treasure is VERY much HERE in THIS life. Very little (if ANY) time, thought, or energy has been invested in laying up ANY treasure for "the ages yet to come" !!
6:19 "Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 6:20 But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ** Matthew
12:15 Then he said to them, "Watch out and guard
yourself from all types of greed, because one’s life does not consist in
the abundance of his possessions." 12:16 He then told them a parable: "The land of a certain
rich man produced an abundant crop, 12:17 so he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I
have nowhere to store my crops?’ 12:18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my
barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my
goods. 12:19 And I will say to
myself, "You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat,
drink, celebrate!"’ 12:20 But
God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded
back from you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
12:21 So it is with the one who
stores up riches for himself, but is not rich toward God." **
13:5 Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.” 13:6 So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
** Hebrews 13
13:5 Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.” 13:6 So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” ** Hebrews 13
Jesus still asks the same question TODAY that He asked the crowds as He preached among them 2,000 years ago: "Of what value will your earthly fame, power, and riches be when you cross the great divide between THIS life and that which is to come ? Do you believe that they will somehow postpone or overcome Death -- Will you take them with you !!"
16:26 For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but forfeits his life (soul)? Or what can a person give in exchange for his life (soul)? ** Matthew
Yet God has by NO MEANS left us ignorant on this subject. His Word is full of assurances and instruction regarding the TRUE meaning of Death and the Life of the Ages Yet To Come. If we ARE ignorant, it is because of lack of interest, lack of study, but MOST of all -- lack of FAITH.
4:13 Now we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep (dead), so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope. ** 1 Thessalonians
20:35 Those who are regarded as worthy to share in that age and in the resurrection from the dead .... 20:36 In fact, they can no longer die, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, since they are sons of the resurrection. 20:37 But even Moses revealed that the dead are raised ........ 20:38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live before him." ** Luke
5:24 "I tell you the solemn truth, the one who hears my message and believes the one who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life. 5:25 I tell you the solemn truth, a time is coming — and is now here — when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 5:26 For just as the Father has life in himself, thus he has granted the Son to have life in himself, 5:27 and he has granted the Son authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. ** John
6:50 This is the bread that has come down from heaven, so that a person may eat from it and not die. 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread he will live for the age. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." ** John
6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 6:9 We know that since Christ has been raised from the dead, he is never going to die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 6:10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God. 6:11 So you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. ** Romans
14:7 For none of us lives for himself and none dies for himself. 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 14:9 For this reason Christ died and returned to life, so that he may be the Lord of both the dead and the living. ** Romans
15:20 Now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 15:21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also came through a man. 15:22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 15:35 But someone will say, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?" 15:36 Fool! What you sow will not come to life unless it dies. 15:37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare seed — perhaps of wheat or something else. 15:38 But God gives it a body just as he planned, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. 15:42 It is the same with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 15:43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 15:44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 15:49 And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, let us also bear the image of the man of heaven. 15:50 Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 15:51 Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed — 15:52 in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 15:53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. ** 1 Corinthians
4:10 Always carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our body. 4:11 For we who are alive are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our mortal body. 4:14 We do so because we know that the one who raised up Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus 4:16 Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 4:17 For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison 4:18 because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. ** 2 Corinthians
1:21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 1:22 Now if I am to go on living in the body, this will mean productive work for me, yet I don’t know which I prefer: 1:23 I feel torn between the two, because I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far ** Philippians
4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also we believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep (died) as Christians. 4:15 For we tell you this by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep (died). 4:16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. ** 1 Thessalonians
21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had ceased to exist, and the sea existed no more. 21:2 And I saw the holy city — the new Jerusalem — descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: "Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them. 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more — or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist." ** Revelations
The scripture itself even states that Death is not an everlasting fixture, for at the conclusion of all things, Death itself shall be destroyed. In the mean time, it even states that there is a "Second Death", so the FIRST can not be permanent.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death — the lake of fire. ** Revelations 20:14
In conclusion, God gives us His ultimate answer to the perplexing puzzle and problem of, "How can I NOT be fearful of Death and the Unknown" ?? Apparently He realized that we mortal creatures are, by very nature, prone to be fearful of that which we do not know or understand -- or most of all -- CAN NOT CONTROL !! He gives us a VERY simple solution, "If we MUST fear something, Fear HIM" !! Now, based upon everything that the Bible tells us about God, His Love for us, and His Nature, I do not for a moment think that this verse depicts that we ought to have a "cringing, cowering fear", like a slave or a dog would have for a cruel master.
I believe that He is telling us to have such a devotion, loyalty, trust, and obedience toward Him that His Word, His Instruction, His COMMAND will override all other thoughts, feelings, AND fears. After all - on a much smaller, earthly realm - do not soldiers often have so much trust, loyalty, and faith in their commanding officers that they fearlessly follow them into death and destruction. Make NO mistake, we are participants in a Cosmic Battle, and Jesus Christ is our Commanding Officer !!
12:4 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more they can do. 12:5 But I will warn you whom you should fear: Fear the one who, after the killing, has authority to throw you into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 12:6 Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. 12:7 In fact, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows. ** Luke
Repeatedly throughout the Old Testament, and to a lesser degree, The New, we find God encouraging His People with these words, "DO NOT BE AFRAID" !! God knows that we mortals are prone to fear - it is nothing to be ashamed of and is certainly no disgrace. It is part of the human condition. God is surely NOT going to be angry at us for it anymore than a loving parent would be angry at their child because he/she might be fearful in a given situation.
Confess your fear to God, then BELIEVE that He is here to, and IN FACT will, help you. Give the fear to Him and allow Him to deal with it. Again and again, in varying words, God repeats His promise over and over, "Do not be afraid! Stand firm. The battle is Mine. I Myself will fight for you !!" It is when we seek to fight the battle in OUR OWN strength that we invariably LOOSE the battle.
20:15 Then He said, "Listen, all Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you king Jehoshaphat. Thus says Yahweh to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 20:17 You will not need to fight this battle. Set yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Don’t be afraid, nor be dismayed. Go out against them tomorrow, for Yahweh is with you.’" ** 2 Chronicles
Now take heed, and do not twist God's Word !! He IS NOT saying to sit on your hands and do NOTHING. He IS saying to go out into the battle under His command, in His strength, following His lead, doing what He says to either do or NOT do. Believe that HE is in command, and that the battle is HIS, not ours !!
I found these two poems on the "Fear of Death" on the Internet. They are published here for your reading interest. The author of the first is William Shakespear. For the other, no author was mentioned.