Ecclesiastes 7:2 Better to go to the house of mourning Than to go to the house of feasting, For that is the end of all men; And the living will take it to heart.
Death does an interesting thing to us. Some of us have at some point or another experienced the death of a loved one, some have even had near death experiences. In these experiences I have found myself always running into people coming to grips with the cold reality that is death. They don't like the thought of it. They don't like the finality of it. They hate how unexplainable it is. They can't stand the thought of it being beyond their control. As humans, our nature is to gain control of everything in our lives and to live as if we answer to no one but ourselves. It is pride, and it's the soil from which sin is grown (Warren Wiersbe).
What's interesting to see is when we speak of death, usually people remain quiet, saying little. What is it with humans and their fascination with death? It is such a fascination, and yet, it is the elephant in the room. Everyone sees it, however, refuses to acknowledge its existence. Why? Because death for many is finality. After it, there is nothing. Many believe that after this life we cross over into nothingness and nonexistence. It is this that usually causes people to point fingers at Christianity and cause them to tag Christianity as man's attempt at creating something to soothe the pain of "the anxiety of death." I, however, find it funny that we as humans are so desperate to explain it, however, can't accept the hope that comes from the cross.
Solomon said well when he wrote the above. It is true. There is plenty of wisdom to be had with death. Death makes us realize the brevity of life. It makes us come to terms with life and how "it is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." (James 4:14). Guess that's why James tells us in the previous verses not to worry about tomorrow or what it might bring us, because we aren't guaranteed tomorrow. And it is this thought, evoked by death, that causes us to begin asking the big questions. Additionally, it is this thought that begins to cause revelation. We begin to grow an appreciation for the time we have been given and for the things which God has blessed us with.
We then begin to realize that with no time to waste, we need to make well with what we have been given. Essentially, we need to be stewards with all aspects of our lives, and this includes time. Ephesians 5:16 reminds us that the times in which we live are evil and we should make due with what God has placed before us. That guy you spoke to this morning at starbucks, that waitress at Denny's, that cashier at Best Buy, they all need Christ, and they, like us, are not guaranteed tomorrow. Enter into that reality and you begin to gain an understanding for what it means to see people as Christ see's them. We see people cussing, drinking, and doing the wrong; Christ see's souls on a train to hell, with a reverse button at their fingertips, one which many don't even know exists.
I don't say this to scare anyone, however, I do say this to evoke thought. I know for me it is sometimes difficult to evangelize, to live out the bible in my life. It is no easy task, however, it is a race. Run it with endurance (Heb 10:35-26). Never grow tired of doing good (Gal 6:1-9). Death should never scare us, because we know that the first death, brings us to Christ. When a brother/sister in Christ passes, a certain joy does come from our mourning, the joy we have through the hope of Christ. You totally just smiled :-)
Our goal should be to let all those around us know that the first death can happen at any moment, and that without Christ, they'll experience death number two.....and it is worse than the first.... Let's be doers of His word, not just hearers. No one ever gained experience through hearing, only through doing....work out the salvation He has worked into you (Phil 2:12).
Love you guys,