Fear of Death – Hebrew 2:14-15

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Most people are simply afraid to die. But we know one stellar exception. When a godly Christian woman we knew was diagnosed with terminal cancer, her family was devastated. However, she told her loved ones: “Don’t cry for me. I have no fear of dying and am ready to go. I know I’ll be going to be with the Lord Jesus and saved family members who have gone before me. I’ll be far better off, and I will see each of you again, so I welcome this time.” When she passed away a few weeks later, it was a peaceful experience for her.

Those who know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and the confident assurance of eternal life beyond the grave have a comfort that can remove the fear of death. But those who have not trusted in Christ for forgiveness of sins and eternal life are chained to the bondage of fear in death. The writer of Hebrews explained that God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, came in the flesh “…that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15). For those who know Christ as Savior, there need be no fear in death. But for those with no assurance of being spared God’s eternal wrath over their sins, the fear of death is universal. Job 24:17 refers to the ungodly as being “…in the terrors of the shadow of death.” David wrote of the wicked who often “prosper in the world; they increase in riches” (Psalm 73:12), while rejecting “the most High” (vs.11). David grew discouraged, knowing he had cleansed his heart before the Lord, yet his life was filled with troubles. But when he went to worship the Lord, he wrote, “…then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou castest them down to destruction… in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors” (of death and eternal punishment–Psalm 73:17-19). Some who deny Christ describe death as “the great unknown” or say it is only to “rest in peace.” In reality, even if they deny it, they fear death, the eternal wrath of God, and punishment for their sins.

Believer, you have been delivered from the bondage of fearing death. Look with comfort and confidence to being forever in the presence of the Savior once your earthly life is over.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."