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Death and Our Worldview

January 13, 2010

It’s been said that good theology helps you die well.

There is so much death and dying going on around us.  It’s easy to ignore unless it knocks on your brother’s or neighbor’s door.  Even your own door, and even if you’re young.  Just recently our neighbor’s best friend from college found out he has a massive growth in his chest above his heart.  He’s younger than me and in med school.  Apparently he means a lot to a lot of people and it has me wondering what his response to it will be (?)

Some truths I’ve come to cherish about dying (or suffering, for that matter):

  • What you believe about God will influence your response to him. Do you define God’s character or determine whether or not he’s fair by what you’re going through?  Or do you believe in what God has revealed to you about himself through his Word?
  • Whatever suffering God brings into the life of a believer is for his glory and for your good. When you think about death and dying, is there anything in you that screams, “I won’t accept that a good God would allow… (fill in the blank)”.  But what does the Gospel say?  It says that God did not even spare his own Son from suffering for your good (John 3:16).
  • God is omniscient. (He is all-knowing). Do you believe that his thoughts are not your thoughts and his ways are not your ways?  Isaiah 55:8-9 says his thoughts and ways are higher as the heavens are higher than the earth.
  • God is sovereign. He created us, he knows us, he is able and he himself determines what is good for us. (Psalm 139)
  • Death is the catalyst to eternal life.  There is good news for the believer in the death of our bodies – eternity with Christ!  It will make our lives here on earth seem like a drop in the bucket.  Romans 8:18-25.
  • Those who live for this world will be like the man who built his house on the sand. Read Matthew 6:19-34 and then 7:24-27 because it is the same discourse!  When we treasure this world more than we treasure eternity with Christ, things will not make sense.  We will rebel against his plan for us, especially when it means taking us from what we have affection for.  However, when we treasure Christ above all else – we will get what we want.  Him!

Here are some incredibly helpful links which can help us form a correct worldview of death, dying and suffering:

  • Rachel Barkey speaking to 600 women in BC, Canada before dying of breast cancer.  This is more than worth your time!  View it here.
  • Don’t Waste Your Cancer article by John Piper here.
  • Video of Matt Chandler before brain surgery to remove a malignant tumor.

This is a subject we should all study and think about so that we can be ready for whatever God calls us to.  Rachel Barkey said it well, “I’m dying…  but so are you.” And that speaks truthfully to the brevity of our lives.

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