Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Last Great Enemy



Mark 14:34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”


The Last Great Enemy

Most people want to avoid death if at all possible.  Even Christians who say that they are not afraid to die tend to wear seat belts, they go to doctors, they eat health food and they work out at gyms.  Generally these are things that help us live longer.  We may say that we are doing those things just to feel better while we are living; but, somehow, I think most people are like me.  They would like to live forever or at least until the Lord returns.  I believe that God will rapture (catch away) the church before the great and terrible day of the Lord’s wrath comes, and I would certainly prefer going to heaven that way without having to face that last great enemy called death (1 Corinthians 15:26).  Heaven is no doubt a wonderful place, but most of us would just as soon fight it out on planet earth rather than having to face that last great enemy.  There are exceptions of course.  There is a day coming when the wrath of God on a Christ-rejecting world will be so severe that people will seek death and not find it (Revelation 9:6).  There are also people that for one reason or another take their own lives.  But these are exceptions and not the rule.


Why Do we Dread of Fear Death?

Death is to a great extent a mystery.  People tell us that no one has gone to heaven and then come back to tell us about it.  But of course that is not really true.  I have talked to people who have had out of body experiences that seem quite believable to me.  However, there are a number of reasons why some of the current books on best seller lists do not seem believable to me.  But the most reliable book is the Bible, and in the Bible the Lord authoritatively tells us about heaven because He came from there.  In addition, Moses and Elijah appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration talking to the Lord.  Moses had died about 1500 years earlier and Elijah had been taken to heaven without dying.  But both were living a conscious life in heaven and they knew what was going on with the Lord down here on earth.  Death is certainly not the end but those who die unsaved will wish that it was.  For those who have trusted Christ, eternal life has got to be glorious.  We may not know a lot about that life but it has got to be a whole lot better than this one.


Also, it appears that Paul had an out of body experience in 2 Corinthians 12:1-6.  He was caught up to paradise and saw things that he wasn’t allowed to tell us.  However, he does tell the Corinthians that he would rather be absent from the body and present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).  He too went to heaven and came back and it caused him to want to return.


Is it Wrong to Fear Death?

The short answer to this question is “no.”  If we are saved, we certainly do not need to fear what comes after death.  But the process of dying can be a fearful thing.  The Lord knew in the Garden of Gethsemane that His process of dying was going to be painful.  He was going to be crucified.  Satan used that issue to attack him in the Garden.  That is why the Lord was EXCEEDING sorrowful even unto death.  If the Lord could be attacked by Satan that severely before He died, certainly Satan will often attack the believer that way before he or she dies.  The unbeliever should fear death because of what comes after death for them.  The believer may fear the process of dying but what comes after will be glorious.


The Believer is not left Alone

The Lord wanted three of His disciples to be with Him when He was facing the death.  Most people want their friends and relatives present when they die.  But for the Lord, the disciples were not really with Him.  Instead they were tired and slept.  Thankfully some of them were with Him at the cross.  But the Lord will never leave the believer alone in their hour of trial.  Isaiah says to Israel:


Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,

Nor shall the flame scorch you. (Isaiah 43:1-2)



The fear of death for a Christian is really the fear of the process of dying.  Fearing death is not sin.  Even the Lord feared that process.  But the saved can be encouraged by the promise that in that hour of trial, the Lord will be with them.  And after the process is over, we too will hear and see things that will leave us speechless.   If I were an unbeliever, I would be quaking in my boots.  But for a believer the best is yet to come.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of March 15, 2015

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