“Life” And “Death”

By Clifford H. Brown, (adapted from a message shared at the editor’s great-grandmother’s funeral on June 3, 1952).

Here are two words: “life” and “death.” One is heart-rending and stirring the world everywhere – that is “death.” Wherever we go we find those who have been face to face with death, as death has been there before us. The Bible says that death came because our forefather Adam disobeyed God and sinned (Rom. 5:12).

Unbelieving men and women “through fear of death [are] all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:15 KJV). This is felt the world over. Death is a fearful thing. People try to explain it; doctors work to stop it.

The very breath that we draw is from the hand of God, yet we find people everywhere rebelling against the One who gave them their breath! Every man and woman will have to meet God, against whom they have sinned, for after death comes judgment (9:27).

The one who has the power of death (2:14), Satan, uses it to fill the hearts of mankind with dread and fear; but God offers everlasting life. The Lord Jesus came, sent by the Father, and spoke words of life. He said, “He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life” (Jn. 5:24). The blessed Lord Jesus came down from heaven and bore our penalty that we might have eternal life rather than eternal death. Christ died for sinners (Rom. 5:8); He died for me.

The last audible words of one believer, who spoke many other words during her 86 years, were, “I am going to Jesus!” A Christian lady who was 90 years old said, as she breathed her last, “Peace, perfect peace.” The Bible declares, “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God” (v.1). Death has no terror for the person who is saved. Last words are often considered to be of special importance, and those of another were, “I am going to see mother and sister, but I want to see Jesus first of all.” Could you say that? If you have taken the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you can.

Each sinner is an enemy of God by wicked works. My sin was against a holy God, but He loved me and gave His Son to die for me.

Two men behind bars were asked, “Do you know anyone who loves you enough to die for you?” They said, “No.” But I am here to tell you that there is One. It is the One who created the universe and now upholds it by the word of His power: Jesus. He died for you. I can say that He died for me and I have everlasting life, because the Bible says so (Jn. 3:36, 5:24).

Death is called the “king of terrors,” but for the believer it is not a fearful thing. “We know we have passed from death unto life” (5:24). Life – life everlasting – belongs to the believer. We will be forever with the Lord (1 Th. 4:17-18). He said, “I will not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands” (Isa. 49:15-16).

The Christian can say, as expressed by Augustus M. Toplady (1740-1778):

Things future, nor things that are now, nor all things below or above,

Can make Him His purpose forego, or sever our souls from His love.

Our names from the palms of His hands eternity will not erase:

Impressed on His heart they remain in marks of indelible grace.

What about you? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Read more