In 2008, country singer Kenny Chesney sang, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, have a mansion high above the clouds. Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to go now.”
We all fear death, don’t we? As believers, we say we’re not scared of dying, but our actions often speak louder than our words. And it’s entirely natural: ingrained deep in our psyche is a powerful survival instinct. Some people, for example, put off writing their wills because it’s morbid, others refuse new adventures — like flying or going on cruises — because they could, no matter how unlikely, carry fatal consequences. Then there are those who fear sharing their faith, scared their vulnerability could lead to violent persecution. To others, it’s the often painful process of dying that’s scariest.
That’s not how believers are supposed to think, though. We are called to be countercultural in every way, and that includes how we view death.
Just two weeks after falling and fracturing his pelvis, former President Jimmy Carter was behind the pulpit at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, where he said he is “at ease with death,” a state of mind he reached after his August 2015 diagnosis with melanoma, which had spread to his brain.
“I found I was absolutely and completely at ease with death.”
Former Pres. Carter discusses his battle with cancer at church in Plains, Georgia, on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/M8mYnF8z87
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 4, 2019
“I didn’t ask God to let me live, but I just asked God to give me a proper attitude toward death,” Carter recalled. “And I found that I was absolutely and completely at ease with death. It didn’t really matter to me whether I died or lived.”
“I have, since that time, been absolutely confident that my Christian faith includes complete confidence in life after death,” he continued. “So, I’m going to live again after I die. Don’t know what form I’ll take, or anything.”
At 95 years old, Carter is confident of the Bible’s promises to believers.
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