Last month, as my aunt crossed from life to the eternal destiny which awaited her, death unwelcomely inserted itself into my family’s life. Death has a way of doing that. It barges right in, uninvited, disrupting life. It rudely divides families, and leaves those who remain behind mourning, sorrowful, and diminished from who they were prior to the loss. It never comes at a desirable time, because honestly, there is no desirable time to face the enemy known as death; that final consequence due to all of us for sin.
And yet there are some (nay many!) in the church today (not to mention the world!) who seek solace in making death something less than our enemy. “Celebrations of Life” for the deceased in lieu of proper funeral services are requested even of reformed pastors by reformed parishioners in reformed churches. Faithful saints of God seek to conceal their sadness, put on a happy face, and focus solely on the positive:
“They’re in a better place”, they say.
“They’re better off”, you hear.
“They’re finally free from their constant pain”, it is alleged.
“It’s a normal part of life”, some muse.
All the while you’re left wondering about the certainty of such statements, and even so, what place there is to mourn. It is as though our Bibles are missing some verses in Ecclesiastes. No, not in chapter 3 verse 2, that there is a time to die; we are all palpably aware of that truth. Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 are the conspicuously absent verses in our day-to-day biblical theology.
It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
We can understand the world not wanting to grieve, because they mourn as ones who have no hope (1 Thes. 4:13). Such a casting off of the pain of death makes sense in the world’s position—but the church? Why are we being tempted to buy into the lie that death isn’t all that bad? Why are we avoiding the house of mourning and instead rushing to the house of feasting, laughter, and mirth?
Perhaps we are beginning to preach the world’s answer to the question “what must I do to be saved?” to ourselves. Not “believe in the Lord Jesus”. Not “persevere to the end” in Christ. But, just believe. Just persevere…in life. One simply has to live, then die, and seemingly everyone is universally transported to “a better place.” Effectively, all one has to do to be saved is…well…die.
Click here to read more.
Source: Church Leaders