Monday, September 3, 2018

Death: The Great Equalizer

For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!” (Eccl. 2:16).

God’s Word is truth, absolute truth, and there can be no doubt that what He has said will come about. God has said, “for the wages of sin is death . . . .” (Romans 6:23).

One overwhelming, irrefutable consequence comes to all people:  physical death. It doesn’t matter what your race, creed, religion, gender, skin color, ethnicity, social status, financial status, career, the size of your bank account or retirement preparations, or any other category of human existence.  If you are a human being, you will die, physically.

Death is the great equalizer.

No one escapes it; no one side steps it; no one gets away from it.  God’s Word is truth.

As a chaplain I have been in the room with people, just plain ole people, most of whom I had never met before, nor did I know their status in society.  But on that fateful day, they died, physically, and I was there to witness it.

Either by virtue of being able to talk with them about their faith in Christ (or their lack of it) just prior to their death, or by talking with their families about their loved one’s spiritual condition, I was able to make a knowledgeable guesstimate as to their eternal destination.

There is a stark contrast between the end-of-life behaviors of a believer and his/her family and a person who has (for whatever reason) rejected the gospel truth about Jesus.  For the believers and their families, there is grief, to be sure.  But there is also a hope that tempers that grief. For the unbelievers and their families, there is only gut-wrenching grief and no hope, at all.

The hope of the believers and their families is one of eternal life, a new body (one that will not be subject to attacks by cancer and other maladies), a reunion with those who have gone before them, and an excitement of seeing their Savior, Jesus. There is a longing to be free from the bonds of this world where the consequences of sin are seen every day, everywhere, all around the world.  Most of the time these words are said, “I’m ready to go. I know where I’m going and I’m not afraid.”

For the unbelievers and their families, there is no hope, nothing to look forward to; only sadness, sorrow, regrets, and, often times, inconsolable sorrow.  Sometimes people will ask questions; sometimes they will say, “I’m a spiritual person. I’ll be okay.”  Most of the time, however, there is only silence and tears.  On occasion, anger comes forth at the God they say they don’t believe in.  This is, perhaps, the most difficult situation to be a part of.

Death is the great equalizer.

Here’s the amazing good news:  God, in His mercy, has provided a way to change death’s consequences from passing into judgment and eternal condemnation to forgiveness for sins, justification and reconciliation, eternal life and a new body for the one who believes and receives Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.  That’s the second part of Romans 6:23, “. . . . but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

It is my hope that you, dear reader, understand the depth of the hope that is ours through faith in Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension.  

Death is the great equalizer. 

It is no respecter of age, gender, job, social status, finances, political affiliation, career, or anything else.

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27), therefore, boldly share the gospel with everyone you come into contact with because it matters not what side of the tracks they are from, their eternal destiny is at stake. 

May the Lord bless you as you seek to grow in grace and knowledge.

By His Grace,
Gary T. Dromi, Ph.D.