No Death's Sting

"If I eat this, will it kill me?"

The thought of death first entered my mind as a child and manifested itself in a multitude of questions that drove my mother crazy. Would eating particular things kill me? Would certain substances initiate my demise? I was coming to grips with my mortality. I wasn't invincible after all.

As a teen, such curiosities took flight. I was unconquerable-or at least thought so. This mindset materialized in various unwise decisions and actions. Reality returned when I became a young adult, and several health issues reminded me I wasn't indomitable.

Whether the thought of death brings a sting depends on one's position. Jesus was hanging between two criminals-all three of which were experiencing death's sting. One of them, however, realized there was a way to escape it. He cried out for mercy, and Jesus replied, "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43 NLT)."

Death involves an inherent element of fear because I've never experienced it. I've listened to and read material by those who have and who have supposedly returned from it. But it still hasn't been my experience.

Here's what I'm sure of. I have no reason to fear if my life is hidden in God. Jesus conquered death, and as his child I will also. Soul sleep is a farce. Jesus told the redeemed thief he would be with him in paradise that very day. Death isn't the end. Eternity follows, and it's heaven for those who trust in Christ. Heaven is also a place where all earth's dreadful elements will be eradicated; otherwise it wouldn't be paradise. Sin-and all of its consequences, will be forever banned.

When you, a loved one, or a friend is facing death, remember that in Christ it loses its sting.

Prayer: Eternal God, we accept death's reality but thank You that in Christ we don't have to fear its sting.

Martin Wiles
Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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