Through Prayer And Spirituality, Fear Of Death Melts Into Anticipation And Joy
By Michael H. Brown
[adapted from Michael H. Brown's After Life, available in the Spiritdaily bookstore]
It’s the greatest of all questions and it’s with us every moment of life: What happens when we die? What happens when we leave earth? What is it like in eternity?
No question is more important. No answer has larger consequences. Whether or not we know it, we’ve been preparing since birth for what comes after life. Our entire existence is but a build-up to death, and everything we have ever done, anyone we have ever known, and anything we have ever seen stand as mere preface.
I have emphasized this point time and again: Earth is but a stage of life and throughout our earthly journey we harbor the often daunting notion that one day we will all succumb to aging, an illness, or accident that will release our souls into a world that is vastly different. One day, at a time we can’t foresee, and in a way we’re not
allowed to know, we all die. We all leave this planet. No human escapes that fate. Some may try. Some may build castles in the sand. Some may accumulate all possible wealth in a way that looks like they’ve conquered the world (and thus immortality) -- but in reality every person is equal and every single person will arrive at a point when his or her soul is brought into the eternal.
No matter who you are and no matter where you have been, no matter what you or others think of yourselves—no matter how highly or lowly—one day you’ll be a naked soul before God and the way you’re judged may surprise you. It may be a shock. But the sure thing is that it will happen. Death will come. So will judgment. The princess with her wardrobe, the
glamorous Hollywood actress, the tycoon with his portfolio of stocks and bonds: all die. All meet the same end. At the conclusion of their days, all must face eternity.
No human has avoided it. No amount of money, no amount of political power, no level of “genius” can change the simple fact that while on earth humans are of a physical nature and as such will eventually perish. One day you will be reduced to nothing but spirit. One day you will shed the physical vehicle we call the “body” and move into a spiritual dimension.
If you’re prepared, it will be a glorious day, a day of indescribable joy, a day of the greatest release and freedom. For upon death we enter a world where there is no longer time and there is no longer death and there is no longer a blindness toward the Lord.
If you’re prepared it will be great beyond your wildest imaginings. It’ll be better than anything you could wish. No fantasy could contain what God has in store for you. It will make the worst suffering on earth seem like a trifle—the tiny price of admission.
That’s if you’re prepared...
If you’re not prepared, eternity will be another matter. For in addition to Heaven there are also Purgatory and Hell. I know some of you don’t want to hear this, and I know it’s not often preached, but since infancy we have all been heading on a road that leads to one of those places. We may try to engineer our immortality. We may try to change it. It never works. It never will. Death will always come and we will be sent to one of the three places. Which place depends on how we conduct our lives, and it’s never too late. No matter how you have sinned you always have hope, right to the last second. Throughout history God has granted many clues as to how to gain the best afterlife. He has shown how to conquer death. He has shown that death loses its sting for those who love, who follow Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:55). Time and again, I hear this from those who have clinically "died" and returned: that upon death they were met by Jesus or an angel who overwhelmed them not with judgment, not with stern rejection, not with austerity, but with an encompassing, unforgettable love. They just can't say enough about how much love they felt from Jesus. It was beyond any love on earth -- vastly beyond even what they had felt from their own spouses or parents! And what Jesus wanted to know, in reviewing their lives, was how much they had loved. When there is love, death loses its hold.
It should even be joyous. It’s what Christ called “good news.” What a wonderful truth! And what a surprise: Death doesn’t have to be the morbid spectacle our society has built it to be, for when we reach a spiritual state, the fear of it, the fear of the “end,” turns into anticipation and joy.
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