A Good Way to Die
A Good Way to Die
Is there a good way to die? I have heard people get into conversations about how they hope to go. Some are willing to face a lingering painful illness because it will give them time to prepare. Some want to die suddenly, without warning to allow the family a quicker time of grief. Some hope to die doing a hero’s work. Some hope to die silently and painlessly in their sleep (that would be me).
But in the end, no matter how we die, we are dead. Is there really a good way to die?
Revelation 14:13 says there is. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on” (ESV). The only good way to die is in the Lord.
In the context of the Revelation, there is a reason dying in the Lord is good. The verse goes on to say, “‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’” (ESV).
This rest is in contrast to the wicked who choose the easy path of worldly living and worldly religion. These may appear to have rest and ease. They often avoid the trials that come from godly living. However Revelation 14:11 says of their eternity, “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day and night...” (ESV).
We have a choice. We can seek rest and peace in this life, following after the ways of the world and worldly religion. Or we can choose trial, tribulation, and torment in this life, seeking after God.
If we choose the former, our eternity will be one of torment without rest. If we choose the latter, our eternity will be one of rest and peace.
When we look at the big picture, the choice is a simple one. However, when we are facing another day-to-day moment, the big picture is sometimes obscured. Most of us know how we should live, yet we struggle in those daily moments. Do we stand out or fit in? Do we do what is convenient or what is right? Many of us become convinced we simply can’t stand up and serve God.
Remember, however, the list of people in Hebrews 11. These were people just like us. They fell at times, just like us. Yet, they picked themselves up, trusted in the grace of God, and continued on in faith. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us...” The author’s point? You can do this. You can die in the Lord. If you have been struggling, don’t be embarrassed. Don’t give up entirely. Just get back up, trust in the grace of God, and continue on in faith. Then, one day you will die in the Lord and you will receive the utmost blessing of rest and peace in the Lord. What a day to look forward to.
Edwin L. Crozier