Parting from friends for any length of time is painful. But death is the most painful parting. You can look at the body of the person you loved, but you’ll never have them back, not in this lifetime.
I haven’t experienced the death of a close loved one recently, don’t get excited, but a couple of people I know have. One death has been expected for years, months, days, and finally she was taken out of her pain and confusion. The other was frightfully sudden.
Even though both were Christians and we rejoice to know they are with Christ, I can’t help but be reminded of the reason we have death, the reason it is so painful.
Death is a product of the fall. Adam and Eve chose the curse of sin, a curse that corrupted us, our flesh, our desires, our relationship with God, and even nature itself. Our bodies are corrupted and weak, and every one of us will die.
The world has been corrupted and has set itself against God and His principles. The world system is opposed to Christianity and to mortality. It becomes more and more evident every day.
Abortion is legal in nearly every country in the world, and around half of the world legalizes abortion on request, no reason required.
Euthanization is legal in Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, Albania, Colombia, Japan and in the US states of Washington, Oregon, Vermont, and Montana.
Prostitution is now legal in the US state of Nevada.
Same-sex marriage is legal in 17 US states.
In 2010, suicide was the 10th leading cause for death in the US, someone killing themselves on average every 13.7 minutes.
Atheism, secular humanism, and post modernism are becoming more and more prominent and desirable.
I talk with friends who have nothing but complaints for the world. A boyfriend cheated. A friend lied. A girl dropped out of school. The same girl wants to commit suicide. Another friend is a jerk. Etc. But somehow they still believe that this, what they are striving after, is what will make them happy.
But let’s face it, this world is fallen and wicked. Cursed and headed to destruction. Things aren’t getting any better. And it’s just not worth holding on to.
Death just reminds me that this isn’t an illusion. This world is truly depraved in every way. That is why we can’t live for this world! What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his soul? Why would we put our hopes in a world that is actively pursuing its own destruction? Why would we choose a world that is ready to chew us up and spit us out? Why would we pursue treasures that can be stolen, and that moth and rust will destroy? Why not put our hopes in treasure that will last into eternity?
This life is but a vapor. You don’t know when it will end. The world and its joys will soon perish.
So if this world will only last a lifetime, at most, shouldn’t we live for eternity? We are just a dot, a pixel, on the line of eternity. What are you living for now? The dot or the line?
The Psalmist in Psalm 73 struggled with the temptation of the world. After he listed the many ways he envied the evil men in the world, he confessed, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.“
The steadfast love of the LORD is better than life. Psalm 63:3
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:1
In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
Delight yourself in the LORD. Psalm 37:4
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared. Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good. Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life! Psalm 119:33-40
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18
“For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:8
“How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose!… You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure.” Saint Augustine
I suppose my point is that holding on to this world is foolishness, when soon we will be in eternity, which goes on and on.
If you keep my commands, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:10-11