A Christian Virtue That Is Almost Lost: Dying Well

(This was first presented as a Wednesday Night Bible Study)

Tonight I present to you a study I’ve never presented before.  I have thought about it often, and Carrie reminded me that last fall I mentioned it, but never followed through.  Monday I thought of it again as one of the most important things I want to encourage you about.

In our society people are willing to talk about almost everything.  Things that used to be taboo are now discussed openly (Sex, drug use, etc).  But there is still one thing that is forbidden to discuss… death.  This topic scares us as is evidence by how we soften it with words like… “passed away,” “early demise,” and “deceased.”  I’ve heard comedians muse about every topic you can name… except one… death and dying.  This topic is off limits because it isn’t funny.

In Christian circles we talk about it a little more, but it is still not brought forward as often or in as clear of terms as it should be.  Usually it comes from the preacher as part of an invitation to be saved, and thus is almost used as a tool of emotional manipulation to get people to make a decision.

But even in Christian contexts there is an element of death and dying that has been ignored… dying well. Let that sink in.  Of all people, Christians should be able to die well.  At one time this idea was set forth to believers and was called “Dying Grace.”  Dying Grace is that which God imparts to the believer in the time just before they leave this life to enter His presence.  And that is what I want us to consider tonight: Dying Grace and Dying Well.

Consider this from R.B. Thieme[i]

Life hangs by a slender thread that can be snapped at any moment.  Does that thought frighten you?  Cause you dread and panic?

God never designed dying to be horrible or frightening for the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.  To the contrary, God designed your dying moments to be the best, the sweetest part of living.  In dying grace, He graciously supplies every need to make this a time of supreme happiness and tranquility as you anticipate meeting the Lord of Glory face-to-face.

Your dying moments are highly valuable to God. They are His final opportunity to honor His infallible Word in your soul. With Bible doctrine in your soul, you appreciate all the fantastic blessings of dying grace so that your dying moments are glorifying to God.

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