The Fear of Death and God’s Grip

The Fear of Death and God’s Grip

The Coronavirus itself may have turned out to be more frightful in the projection than the reality of it — unless you or someone you love died from it. Like all things that bring us fear, there is truth behind that fear. The truth that choked us is that all of us will die (unless escaping at the coming of Christ). It is only a matter of time. We’re sure, as well, that our lives could end in an unexpected way. And, beyond this, most of mankind fears what is beyond death, a just judgment for their actions and thoughts. So, when the artist inserts an unknown intruder virus on the canvas where such dark knowledge is already  broad-washed as its background, fear is the result. 

The aftershocks of the virus have created further fears of immense earth-side troubles throughout our world. The unknown virus will likely topple the economies of many nations, some of which were remarkably efficient and, from appearances, stable. Like the pretentious banker, they were well-creased in the front, but threadbare in the rear. This virus has exposed the pretense of wealth sitting upon debt. With businesses closing and governments bankrupt, we could see a broad expanse of poverty and joblessness, bold socialistic actions from which we will not soon be liberated, and prevailing discouragement as people try to push themselves upward with no sound footing beneath. It may bring suicides. 

Or, these things may not happen. 

Fear is the emotional reaction to a person’s ideation of destruction, loss and pain anticipated and imaginated [yes, that’s a word]. There is truth concerning ultimate death, pain and judgment at its roots. 

Christians are subject to viruses and failing economies as well. It’s true that we live in the world. But we are not of the world. We are called by God whom we serve to embrace ultimate truths, not fear them, for Christ has done something remarkable for us. There are many such truths for believers, both related to this world and the next. We can let our emotion and mind fully wrap around those truths, and by doing so, not fear, but rise above those fears binding the hearts of unbelievers. As we know, the truths concerning the believer’s end are not designed to be fear-producing. The writer of Hebrews said that Christ became man and died so that “he might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (2:15).

Recently I brought back into use an outline of biblical ideas I had written years before on a teaching Christians call “the security of the believer.” They are well-suited for this time of new experiences that have potential to shake us. Don’t be put off by the outline itself, with each part neatly starting with the same letter of the alphabet. It may help you remember it. Rather, examine the chapters and context of the verses supplied and see how the verses say exactly what the outline reports. We could think of these as five fingers of God gripping the true believer to keep him secure. I suggest that some of you would do well to memorize this outline and the verses supplied in order to meditate on them. It will give you stability even if the world around us morphs into something we have not seen before in our lifetime. Maybe you can teach these to others, placing the verses in their Bible context to better appreciate their strength. And, by all means, put it in your Bible and on your bulletin board. Let this speak to you. 

How the Believer in Christ is Kept Secure in God’s Five Finger Grip

Jim Elliff

We are kept by the PROMISE of God.

“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”          John 6:37-40

We are kept by the POWER of God.

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”          John 10:28-30

We are kept by the PASSION of God.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”          Romans 8:38-39

We are kept by the PRIESTHOOD of God.

“The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”          Hebrews 7:23-25

We are kept by the PRESENCE of God.

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”          Ephesians 1:13-14

Copyright © Jim Elliff 1985