Dealing With Death
Each of us has, at one time or another, dealt with death of a family member, friend, relative or other loved ones. Each of us has dealt with such death in a manner that we had been taught. Some border on being hysterical, disbelieving or refusing to deal with it at all and withdrawing. This must not be the way we deal with death or near death of anyone. If you read and study the Bible God has given us the answers we need to face our own deaths with no fear and if we are true Christians we can assist others at the time of their own deaths. We have a duty to remain strong and to be the examples to others, especially family members of the dying, and to be prepared to tell them of what awaits them or , in the case of a dearly beloved, that person’s demise.
Our initial calling is to tell of God’s everlasting love that allows all who come to Him to gain entry to heaven. He sent His Son as our Redeemer so that we might be saved.
John 3:16-17 “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone that believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. God did not send His Son to the world to condemn it, but to save it.”
In my dealing with the elderly and dying I have been asked, “I have waited so long and done so many things for which I am not proud, how can I expect to gain God’s love at this time?” To this question I have answered by reading John 3:16-17, then Matthew 20: 1-16 (Story of the Vineyard Workers) and discussed the meanings of the parable set forth. Matthew teaches that no matter what time of our lives we come to God, it is never too late!
No matter the age of the person, no matter the sex of that person, and no matter that person’s thoughts of religion, if that person truly accepts God and His Son, Jesus Christ, then he/she, through belief and confession is entitled to belong among God’s saved!
Romans 10:9-10 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
All too many have doubts as to their having been forgiven the sins committed throughout their lifetimes. To them they have no chance to prove their contriteness other than expressing sorrow for the error of their ways. The expression of true sorrow is their reflection of having repented of their transgressions and it is by that belief in God and in Jesus Christ that they are saved.
Care should be taken to tell the person that if he/she is holding a grudge or blaming anyone for any problems in and of their lifetimes, they have a duty to forgive that person or persons who sinned against them. Life is not to blame anyone for anything but to forgive all for their humanity.
Matthew 6:14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”
My dad, a lifelong Catholic, had a rugged and tough life. He was a Merchant Marine during World War 11, a police officer, a security agent/body guard for a celebrity and had doubts as to God having forgiven him for all of the many misdeeds of his life. I spent many hours with him and reading God’s Word to him so as to comfort him. It was only after I read Hebrews 8:12 to him that he showed signs of realizing God had truly forgiven his sins. God not only forgave him but purposely forgot his transgressions.
Hebrews 8:12 “And I will forgive their wrongdoings and I will never again remember their sins.”
Who can argue with these words of God? Not only will I not argue with these words that I see as proof of God’s love but I will gladly teach them to any that will listen.
Each of us must realize that our time on this earth is limited and is but a time we must spend learning to realize that this is but a beginning of what God has in store for us. By realizing that He is indeed God and has done all He has to ‘open our eyes’ to Him; we are able to be saved. All earthly sorrows, and pain and suffering will disappear and a true life with God will be our heavenly reward.
Recently I was privileged to receive prayer requests for a man who was suffering the ravages of brain cancer. That man’s wife was the author of the basic prayer request while at the same time giving comfort to their young daughter. Although the cancer was relentless resulting in earthly death, the man and his wife never doubted God’s purpose in their lives. It was most heartening to read the many letters she wrote respecting events in her husband’s and her lives while giving praise to God for the good things received in their lives and for the life to come for her husband. Not one word of doubt of God, no words of condemnation for pain suffered and many words of love of God, her husband and their little girl. I wish that each of you have the strength and love to be God’s messengers such times in your own lives.
I would like to say that I have found Psalm 23 to be most comforting to those who are facing imminent earthly death. Perhaps if you read, and study, that Scripture an understanding of the comfort God has spoken of in the Word will allow you the strength to assist another.
I was raised as a Catholic and recall one particular teaching of that faith that I hold to be of interest. When a person has taken his/her last breath his/her last sense that remains is hearing. I do not know that this is true but if faced with the immediate demise of a person I would see no harm in getting close to that person’s ear and quietly saying, “Go to the Light as it is our God and Savior calling you. Rejoice and believe…believe and have faith in God.”
O Father, Almighty God, hear our prayer. Father we praise You and exalt You as You alone are most High and worthy of our worship. You are our God and there is no other.
Father, we are often faced with the death of loved one, family members, friends and relatives. Often we are able to speak with them as they are near their last moments on this earth and we tell them of You, Your Son, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit. It is our wish to see them in paradise and in Your presence. You know that we are weak and that You are our source of strength. Heavenly Father in times such as we are called upon to witness to those who are close to their earthly death, please keep us strong and allow us to be Christian in our ways as we seek to bring comfort and Christianity to them and any that would listen to us. Our sole desire is to bring any that will believe to You and to salvation. Please be with us in our efforts to serve You.
Lord, as Jahweh Sabaoth, please send Your angels to accompany the souls of Your people to paradise. Also we ask that You have them protect our military, our allies. Your Christian children throughout the world and upon their time of death bring them home to You. Protect our elected officials and guide them to lead us in a proper manner and awaken them to the needs of their constituents.
Lord, please bless us in such and abundance so as to allow us sufficient blessings to pass to others. We do not ask this of You lightly and know that You are there for us.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Who is One with You and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever,