Summary: A sermon on the fears surrounding death. Main verses from Hebrews 2:14-15
When I die, I want to die peacefully and die in my sleep like my Grandfather did. Not screaming like the passengers in his car.
Mankind naturally has a fear of death. “I don’t fear death at all.” That person is either not being honest or has lost his mind. That fear will remain until Christ’s Return for 2 reasons:
If there was no fear of death, think of how many would commit suicide. Think of how many would be reckless in their sports, hobbies and work. A sense of self preservation is healthy.
That men and women would make preparations for that day. We fear it so we make preparations. Everyone is going to die. There is a 100% mortality rate. Every man knows he will die, but no one wants to believe it.
Thesis: Let’s talk honestly about the fears surrounding death and then about how Jesus helps us with those fears.
The fears surrounding death.
Fear Of pain. How much pain will there be for me? Will it be a blast of great pain or a gradual pain that last for years? We don’t like pain and we don’t want to see people suffer. We are blessed today with a lot of medical technology to lessen pain. However, we have this idea that we need to keep our loved ones alive as long as possible and use every possible means to extend life. It seems in our current American culture, we make every effort to deny death’s existence and fight “to the very end,” to say, “it ain’t so.” We need to discuss with our loves ones our wishes on CPR, feeding tubes, ventillators, and respirators.
Fear of the state of mind. Will I still have my mind at the time of death? To lose one’s mind is a fear. Need to discuss with loves ones about nursing homes. Also, near the time of death will my mind be in a state of bliss or terror? Woody Allen said, “I am not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
Fear of being separated from loved ones. We need to make a will and try to make things easy on them by our planning. However, that is not the main fear here. Miss their company. Miss the times together, the relationships. Don’t want to go. Don’t want to be forgotten. Don’t want to be a non entity.
Death happens alone, solitary and singular. It is so personal. Only have one life, only have one death. No one can live for us and no one can die for us. We do it alone.
Fear of the unknown. We fear things we have never experienced. The first time for anything we are apprehensive and unsure of ourselves.
Fear of the judgment.
There was a tough cowboy who didn’t fear anything. One man asked him, “Don’t you fear death?” The cowboy said, “No, I don’t fear death, only what happens after?!?”
Hebrews 9:27: man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment
How Jesus helps us with these fears.
Fear of the judgment-
James 5:9: The Judge is standing at the door!
Now when we look at these verses we have to clear up a possible misunderstanding. God is the one who made us, brought us to life by birth, and God will be the one who closes our eyes in death. The devil does not have control over the day of our death.
Satan entered the garden in the form of a serpent, tempted man to sin, and with sin came death. And that’s why the Bible calls Satan a murderer from the beginning. And the reason Hebrews 2:14 says, "him that had the power of death, that is, the devil" is because death is the realm in which Satan exercises his authority over the human race because he tempts a man to sin and with sin comes death. Even though Satan doesn’t determine the day of our death, when we die, because of sin, we will suffer eternal separation from God. We will go down with Satan to hell. Satan uses this to enslave us.
God knew that to help us He had to become like us. And for that reason He became human flesh and blood. When Jesus Christ walked the surface of the earth He was as human as you and I are human. As it says again in verse 14, "And as much as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same." At the same time He never sinned. But He knew before the sinner could be pardoned, the sin had to be punished. So what the Bible is saying is He took our place on a cross. And the punishment for our sins was placed upon Him and He died in our place. He was our substitute.