A Good Death is a Death to the Lord!

We have been examining the fact our submission to Jesus as Lord provides us with an adequate motive for living.

Romans 14:7-8

7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.
8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.

Dying to the Lord.

The Lord Jesus Christ not only provides us with a motivation for a life lived for Him, but also he also provides us with a basis for a death to Him. We do not decide when and how we die. We “die to the Lord” by permitting Him to decide the time and circumstances of our death. Psalm 116:15 states—”Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” (See “Suicide” below) 

What you and I must do is steadfastly refuse to assist others in their suicide if they ask us to. If our loved ones are in pain as they die, we can get palliative care for them. 

Palliative care is the active relief of suffering in a terminally-ill individual, and although there are occasions when treatment may shorten life, this is not the intended or anticipated result. It is simply a side effect or complication of therapy and is therefore ethically permissible. Generally, adequate doses of narcotics to relieve pain do not shorten life. If a nurse should see a patient die after s/he administeried the proper dose of a narcotic, s/he is not guilty of murder. The death was an unintended side effect of palliative care. (see “Palliative Care”; and “Pankratz and  Welsh” below).

We can weep with them, love them, and hold their hand as they die. We cannot assist in killing them because they are made in the image and likeness of God. Genesis 1 states—

27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

sick bed

A deathbed scene is pictured above with family around the dying man. This was common prior to mid-20th Century. Today we remove death and the dying from our presence as much as possible. Funerals are especially taboo with the young.

Let me add the same qualification about euthanasia that I did about suicide in a previous post. Aiding a person’s suicide in the past is not an unpardonable sin. One can realize that aiding that person’s euthanasia in the past was a sin. Sin confessed to God and repented of is forgiven. Moving forward, a forgiven sinner resolves to promote life and not aid in further euthanasia. 

God takes our sins…and dumps them in the sea
and puts up a sign that says: “No Fishing Allowed.”
– Corrie ten Boom

D. L. Moody’s Words about His Future Death while He was still Healthy

The following words were spoken in part by Billy Graham. He knew D. L. Moody had said the words before he did. Billy was underscoring Moody’s testimony in his own!

Some day you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody, of East Northfield, [MA] is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I shall have gone up higher, that is all; out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal—a body that death cannot touch; that sin cannot taint; a body fashioned like unto His glorious body. (see “Lindgren,” below) 

moody on Psalm 23

D. L. Moody’s Last Words as He was Dying

“For four hours Mr. Moody faced death without [alarm]. Nay, he rejoiced in it and welcomed it.

“Standing midway in the stream he said, “No pain, no valley! Is this death? It is not bad. It is sweet. It is bliss.”

“Later he said, ‘This is glorious. This is my coronation day, I have long looked forward to it.’ Later still, ‘Don’t call me back; God is calling.’

As his son, Will, knelt by his side as he sank, he could not find it in his heart to call him back. He afterward said to me, ‘I did call him back once, but I could not find it in my heart to do it again.’ (see “Torrey,” below, pp. 30-31) 

V0006951 The death-bed of John Wesley, 1791. Process print after an a

Above is a print of John Wesley’s death bed scene, 1791. He raised one hand high in the air and exclaimed at the end, “The best of all is God is with us!” With these words he fell back onto his pillow and passed into heaven. 

Prayer

O Lord, Giver of Life and Decision-maker of Death’s hour,
Give me grace to preserve my life and others’ lives
as much as is in my power as long as I live.
I am made in your image and share this

with all humanity.
Help me to respect that image in myself and others.
There is so much death around us.
Help me not to let it cheapen life in my estimation.
Since You hold the keys of death and the grave,
You alone can say when life is over.
Help me to bear testimony to You as Lord and Savior
when my time to die comes.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Notes

Lindgren, Caleb. (2018). “Someday You Will Read or Hear That Billy Graham Didn’t Really Say That.” Christianity Today magazine accessed 18 July 2018 from https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/february-web-only/billy-graham-viral-quote-on-death-not-his-d-l-moody.html 

Palliative care. See also Pankratz, R. C. and R. M. Welsh). 

Pankratz, R. C. and R. M. Welsh. (2001). “A Christian Response to Euthanasia.” Accessed 20 June 2018 from http://www.tkc.com/resources/resources-pages/euthanasia.html

Suicide. Suicide is not an unpardonable sin. Sometimes people snap under the pressures of life. They take their own life as a means of escaping those pressures. Survivors have to deal with the aftermath of pain that follows in the wake of suicide. I wouldn’t add to that pain by suggesting a loved one who took his own life will not be heaven. 

Torrey, R. A. (1900). Lessons from Life and Death of D. L. MOODY. New York, NY: Fleming H. Revell Company. 

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved

2 Comments

  1. Great read Brother! I so agree with it all. I always felt suicide was not a sin unto death. God looks on our hearts which no man can see.
    Love you,
    Susan

    Like

    Reply

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