Are you afraid to die? Hope in Christ takes away our fear of the grave. As believers our riches in Christ are immeasurable and in this article we are going to look at just four of the hopes we have in Christ. These four hopes will provide you with comfort and help alleviate the fear of the grave.
Before we examine those hopes, it is important to understand the ruin of fallen man.
The Curse of Sin
—Romans 3:23 NKJV “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
As a sinner we deserve death and if we go to the grave unprepared we will get our just reward – suffering the wrath of God.
—Romans 2:5 NKJV “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,”
—Romans 1:32 NKJV “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
Are you ready for death? Death is coming for all, the question you need to ask yourself are you ready to die? Many people will make plans to handle their material assets and family matters by preparing a will. However, Many people will neglect their spiritual future. By neglecting your spiritual future you are storing up the wrath of God.
—Romans 6:23 NKJV “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Hope in Christ — Eternal Life
The first hope the believer has is everlasting life. Wrath, suffering and death is what awaits those who do not prepare for the grave. However, for those who place their spiritual well being in Christ will have the exact opposite experience. The believers reward will be eternal life. We will be raised with Christ, given a new body and new home in heaven.
God has a higher calling for His creation. He does not want us to face His wrath. Instead, in Christ, God is currently showing His mercy and by grace is offering salvation to all who accept his offer in faith. By Christ, God is pardoning the sinner. The time is now to prepare for you eternal future before death comes to claim you.
—1 Thessalonians 5:9 NKJV “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,”
—Ephesians 2:8 NKJV “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,”
No Fear of Death
Since we have eternal life and death has no hold on believers we do not need to fear death. We can take comfort in the fact that we do not have to face the penalty of death because another took our place. That person who tasted this distasteful dish for us was Jesus and in humility he took the form of man and suffered death in order to redeem man. He bore our judgement for our sins.
Knowing that someone else has tasted death for us should help alleviate the fear of death. There is no lake of fire in our future as Christ has already bore the penalty for sin, that chained us to death and its consequences.
—Hebrews 2:9 NKJV “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”
—Hebrews 9:27–28 NKJV “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
—2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Hope for the Believer —Citizenship in Heaven
A second hope the believer has is we belong to heaven, It is our home, not earth. As believers we have a joyful outlook on the future. We have been assured eternal life. A great expectation for the believer is to enjoy that inheritance we have through Christ and we eagerly look forward to going to our new home in heaven.
—Philippians 3:20 NKJV “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,”
As much as we desire to be with the Lord, we have a natural desire to spend as much time with our loved ones before our departure date, as well as serve God on earth. So, even though our home is in heaven, we still have a duty on earth to be ambassadors for Christ to those around us.
It is one of those strange things in life where we are both cheerful and sad about starting our journey to our new home. Regardless when our time to depart earth arrives, we know we have a future home and that knowledge gives us peace.
—Philippians 1:22–24 NKJV “But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.”
—Ephesians 1:14 NKJV “who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”
This inheritance in Christ keeps us from worrying about the grave as we have been delivered from sin. He has purchased eternal life for those who have faith in Him. Since we know our future has been guaranteed, we can’t but help to keep our eyes on heaven and eagerly await being with the Lord.
—Titus 2:13–14 NKJV “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
Hope in Christ — Present with the Lord
A third hope for the believer is to be present with the Lord. The holidays on earth can be a joyous occasion to fellowship and a nice way to spend time with family and friends. However, believers have a much bigger reunion to look forward to when the whole body of Christ will be united together with the Lord Himself. This will be the greatest reunion of all times.
—2 Corinthians 5:8 NKJV “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
—1 Thessalonians 4:17–18 NKJV “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
Hope in Christ —Incorruptible Body
The fourth hope for the believer is to be cloaked with an incorruptible body. This is another great blessing the believer has to look forward to is the changing our corruptible body for an incorruptible body. We shall inhibit a spiritual body that will no longer be susceptible to sickness, decay, and death.
—1 Corinthians 15:51–57 NKJV “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? ”The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
—2 Corinthians 5:2 NKJV “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,”
—Romans 8:23 NKJV “Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”
Hope in Christ takes away our fear of the grave. What amazing riches we have in Christ. Death can have no victory over us. We can not even begin to imagine all the blessing we have in Christ but the four we touched on today: The hope of eternal life, citizenship in heaven, being present with the Lord and having an incorruptible body are four great hopes that will have the believer eagerly serving the lord and not fearing the grave.
The Time is Now
If you have not yet trusted in Christ, please do so now.
—Acts 16:31 NKJV “So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.””
The time for salvation is now. Please take advantage of God’s loving offer while you still have time.
—Romans 5:8 NKJV “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
—Romans 5:10 NKJV “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
—2 Corinthians 6:1–2 NKJV “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”