Where’s God When I Fear Death?

Is death the #1 fear people have? The simple and complicated answer is: It depends. Fear of dying is a BIG fear in those that statistically are the least likely to die: the young. But fear of dying is very LOW for those on death row, the elderly, and the terminally ill.

I hope to convince you of a fourth group that shouldn’t fear death. It’s a group that all of us can be a member of: Those who understand that physical death is not the end. 

In the Garden of Eden, God planted one tree that was off-limits, and He said that the penalty for eating from this tree was death (Genesis 2:16-17). satan tried to get Adam and Eve to doubt what God said, and after they ate the fruit, it appeared satan was correct—they didn’t die. At least not physically.

But their sin did something far, far worse—it separated them from God’s presence. Now when God appeared, Adam and Eve hid in fear. In fact, Jesus even told His followers that the greatest fear wasn’t physical death but spiritual death (Luke 12:4-5). 

Jesus came to lift our hope to something beyond this physical world. He said, “God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him would not die, but would have eternal life” (John 3:16). 

Famed atheist Bertrand Russell said, “I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.” 

On the other hand, Jesus DID die for His beliefs and proved He was right by His resurrection! 

Friend, listen to me—We’re definitely not living our best life now. We are all terminal. Unless Jesus returns, the chances of our physical death are 1-in-1. 

But physical death is not the end! Death of the body means freedom for the soul. Jesus has defeated Death once for all! “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades,” Jesus said (Revelation 1:17-18) 

Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:54-57) 

Invite Jesus into your life right this moment!! 

Once you have invited Jesus into your life, and your sins have been forgiven, and your destiny following your physical death is assured, this is how you should now live: 

  1. Live in joyful hope. Not optimism—that’s just the belief in what you think you can do. But hope is the belief in what you know Jesus has already done!
  1. Live free of all anxiety and the fear of death. Because nothing can separate you from God’s love and presence (Romans 8:38-39).  
  1. Live telling others about your Risen Savior. It’s the most loving thing that you could do for anyone. 

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that to be a Christian and to be fearful of death is a sin. A fearful Christian gives God no praise, robs Him of glory, and paints God in a bad light. A happy, secure Christian knows the Lord is his strength, his comfort, his supply. A happy Christian lifts God high and invites others to know this All-Good, All-Happy God too! 

We can live this way because Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sins that separated you from God, and He was resurrected back to life to assure you that your eternal home in God’s presence is secure!

12 Noteworthy Quotes From “There Is A God”

There Is A GodAs I said in my book review of Anthony Flew’s There Is A God, the real value of this book is in the arguments which contributed to Flew’s shift from atheism to theism. You can read my full book review by clicking here.

Frankly, it’s hard to share a lot of the quotes because the context of the full argument would be lacking, but I’ve been sharing a few of them over several posts. To wrap up this series, here are several other noteworthy quotes from this thought-provoking book.

“I would have liked to convince my father that I had found what he had been looking for, the ineffable something he had longed for all his life. I would have liked to persuade him that the search for God does not have to be in vain. But it was hopeless. He had known too many blind Christians, bleak moralists who sucked the joy from life and persuaded their opponents; he would never have been able to see the truth they were hiding.” —Katherine Tait, daughter of Bertrand Russell 

“Nothing can penetrate the loneliness of the human heart except the highest intensity of the sort of love the religious teachers have preached.” —Bertrand Russell

“In sum, to the Being who he considered to be the explanation of the world and its broad form, Aristotle ascribed the following attributes: immutability, immateriality, omnipotence, omniscience, oneness or indivisibility, perfect goodness and necessary existence. There is an impressive correspondence between this set of attributes and those traditionally ascribed to God within the Judaeo-Christian tradition. It is one that fully justifies us in viewing Aristotle as having had the same Divine Being in mind as the cause of the world that is the object of worship of these two religions.” —David Conway

“There can never be any real opposition between religion and science; for the one is the complement of the other. … Religion and natural science are fighting the joint battle in an incessant, never relaxing crusade against skepticism and against dogmatism, against unbelief and superstition … and therefore ‘On to God!’” —Max Planck

“God is a mathematician of a very high order and He used advanced mathematics in constructing the universe.” —Paul A.M. Dirac 

“Reason tells me of the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capability of looking far backwards and far into the futurity, as a result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of mine; and I deserve to be called a Theist.” —Charles Darwin

“Science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview. … Even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith the existence of a lawlike order in nature that is at least in part comprehensible to us.” —Paul Davies, Templeton Prize winner 

“It is crazy to postulate a trillion (casually unconnected) universes to explain the features of one universe, when postulating one entity (God) will do the job.” —Richard Swinburne

“The problem of how meaningful or semantic information can emerge spontaneously from a collection of mindless molecules subject to blind and purposeless forces percents a deep conceptual challenge.” —Paul Davies 

“One feature of life, though, remains certain: Life could not have evolved without a genetic mechanism—one able to store, replicate, and transmit to its progeny information that can change with time. … Precisely how the first genetic machinery involved also persists as an unresolved issue.” —Antonia Lazcano

“The world is rational. The order of the world reflects the order of the supreme mind governing it.” —Kurt Gödel

“The reality of rationality cannot be evaded with any appeal to natural selection. Natural selection presupposes the existence of physical entities that interact according to specific laws and of a code that manages the processes of life. And to talk of natural selection is to assume that there is some logic to what is happening in nature (adaptation) and that we are capable of understanding this logic.” —Roy Abraham Varghese

  • You can read some direct quotes from Anthony Flew by clicking here.
  • Some Albert Einstein quotes can be found by clicking here.
  • A fascinating mathematical explanation from Gerald Schroeder is found by clicking here.

They All Agree

It’s extremely rare that a 19th-century pastor, Jesus Christ, and a noted atheist would all agree on something. But as we wrapped up our series on love today, I had to share these quotes (the added emphasis in the quotes is mine)—

Henry Drummond“Never offer men a thimbleful of gospel. Do not offer them merely joy, or merely peace, or merely rest, or merely safety; tell them how Christ came to give men a more abundant life than they have, a life abundant in love, and therefore abundant in salvation for themselves, and large in enterprise for the alleviation and redemption of the world. …Only this fuller love can compete with the love of the world.” —Henry Drummond

“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! …By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you truly love one another. —Jesus (Luke 6:32-33; John 13:35)

Bertrand Russell

“Nothing can penetrate the loneliness of the human heart except the highest intensity of the sort of love the religious teachers have preached.” —Bertrand Russell

Thinking About What You’re Thinking About

When was the last time you thought something new for the first time? Atheist Bertrand Russell said something painful, but true, “Most men would rather die than think. Many do.”

I’ve written before about the most important and most lengthy conversation all of us have everyday. It’s the conversation we have with ourselves — it’s called thinking. But for many people their thinking is stuck in a rut.

I’ve often had conversations with people bucking against a new thought where I have asked them why they believe what they believe. Far too many times they tell me, “That’s just the way I was raised.” Okay, but what do you think about it? “I don’t know. That’s just the way I was raised.”

Two books which have really helped my thinking are As A Man Thinketh (James Allen) and Thinking For A Change (Dr. John C. Maxwell). Allen uses the analogy of our minds as gardens where we need to constantly pull out the weeds and plant the thoughts that will bear the fruit we desire. Maxwell challenges us to look differently at the way we think our thoughts.

The Apostle Paul tells us to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). And then we can begin to change the way we think: Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

If your thinking is ever going to go to a higher level it has to start with this — You have to be willing to think about what you’re thinking about.

In other words, why are you thinking what you’re thinking? Start capturing the thoughts running through your mind and ask them, “Why are you here?” Are you thinking what you’re thinking because you thought it, or because someone else thought it for you?

I’d like to explore some thinking thoughts with you this week. In the meantime, please feel free to comment and tell me what you think about thinking.

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