Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Sorrows of Death

Meditation for the week of June 28, 2009

Psalm 116:3
The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow.

Death is the “preacher of the old school” according to an old tract that I have.  Death preaches when people least expect it.  It doesn’t always say things in a kind and gentle way.  But when death speaks we ought to listen.

Last week death was speaking loudly.  Ed McMahon, the sidekick on Johnny Carson’s show passed into eternity.  He had a lot of money at one time and then lost it through poor management.  Even though he had enjoyed riches and fame, when his time came, he died.

Farrah Fawcett, the blond who was one of the detectives on the TV show called Charlie’s Angels, died of cancer.  She was once on top of the world and a lot of girls wanted not only to look like her, but they would have loved to be her if they could have been.  I wonder if they would trade places with her now.  When her time came she died.

Michael Jackson whose album “Thriller” sold more copies than any other album in history died last week of cardiac arrest.  His tours were legendary.  He had more awards given to him than any other entertainer.  However, his personal life was a mess and when his time came he died.

In addition, last week, a coach in our community was gunned down by a former student.  The coach was a Christian who lived it.  When his community was devastated by a massive tornado a year ago, he was one of the motivating forces that kept the community moving forward so it could rebuild.  His teams were winners and he did his best to instill character in those he coached.  But he didn’t get the job done with one student, and that student killed him.  When his time came he died.

None of these who have died will be back to spend time with their loved ones.  Sin brings death and death brings sorrow.  Anticipating death brought sorrow to the Psalmist even though later he was delivered from death.  The Psalmist found that in death, the only comfort is found in the Lord.  He said, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is death of his Saints (Psalm 116:15).”

Death is a great leveler.  The rich and the poor, the good and the evil, the popular and the despised, the leaders and the followers all die.  All end up being buried.  However, death is not the end.  Death is just the beginning.  But what is just beginning?  Even the atheist and agnostic would have to agree that time continues after death and that something continues.  They would just like to believe that the person who dies ceases to exist and knows nothing from that time on.  But what scientific evidence do they have to support that?  What empirical data is available that proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt?

There is no absolute scientific evidence that proves that man has an eternal part to him that does exist for ever.  However, the Lord Jesus said that was the case.  Job said that was the case.  Daniel said that was the case.  David said that was the case.  We sell a lot of vitamins on flimsier anecdotal evidence than that.  I believe that we exist forever, some in heaven and some in eternal conscious punishment separated from God. 

Having people cut off in an untimely manner always causes us to think about the sorrows of death.  We who are saved are reminded that we need to be real.  The coach’s friends have all said that his Christianity was real.  He practiced what he said he believed.  I believe that he was prepared for what happened.

For those who died unprepared, their sorrows will be real and eternal according to the Word of God.  The Lord said that if we would trust Him, our sins would be forgiven and our sorrows would cease the moment we die.  We would go to a place He has prepared for us and we would begin a new existence where sin and death and sorrow would no longer touch us. 

What do you suppose those who have died this last week believe about these things now?

Bruce Collins

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