It is the great, universal arrester. None of us can escape death; every single human being must be prepared to deal with it. Dying “comes naturally” to all of us.
Scriptures teach that people live in the fear of death (Heb. 2:15). It’s not hard to understand why: death is associated with suffering, it marks the end of life, and whatever lies beyond death is, for most people, unknown.
But the Christian has good news to declare to those who are enslaved by the fear of death. Jesus Christ has overcome death and hell, and He offers liberty into eternal life to all who believe in Him. The challenge, of course, is getting that message across in a time when the Christian faith is widely scorned and increasingly ignored.
Knowing that our neighbors all are going to die, however, should motivate us to want to help them understand the free gift of eternal life which Jesus offers. Should, however is still a ways from will.
It might help to gain a little more insight to the Biblical view of death and dying. Here are some resources and activities to prepare you to minister to the people around you, and to encourage you to proclaim the Good News of eternal life in Christ.
Resources for this topic
Sanctity of Life/Dying with Dignity by Colly A. Tettlebach
Esther’s Guarded Condition by Anthony Esolen
Chasing Eternity by Sophie Lister
We Do Know Jack: Physician-Assisted Suicide by Charles Colson
A Good Death by John T. Dunlop
Christ and the Human Condition by Michael Cleghorn
Dying to Be Faithful by Jennifer Trafton
For more insight to this topic, get the book, As I Lay Dying, by Richard John Neuhaus, from our online store. Death and dying bring up many ethical issues, which you’ll want to be prepared to discuss. Be sure to order your copy of our new DVD series, Doing the Right Thing. Here’s a great resource for investigating the power of natural law for ethical behavior.
- How does your pastor help people deal with the trials of death and dying? Make an appointment to talk with your pastor about this issue. Find out how you can support him in this aspect of his ministry. See what wisdom he can offer you for bearing witness to others around the theme of death and dying.
- Have a frank conversation with friends or family about the subject of death. What happens when we die? How should a Christian approach his or her own death? How should knowing that we’re going to die affect the way we live? How can we as Christians be a source of comfort and hope to those who have lost loved ones?
- Email today’s Talking Points column to several Christian friends. Challenge them to read some of the resources, watch the Two-Minute Warning, and take on one of the activities.
A conversation starter:
Christians have a message of hope for everyone who is going to die – and that’s everyone. Here’s a way to start a conversation on the subject: “We’re all going to die. Is anyone ever really ready to die? What do you think?”