Many people across the world grieving the death of Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Cheston, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan. Those are the names of the people who departed on Sunday. They are not the only ones who died that day but these individuals are in the spotlight because of the untimeliness of their death and the number of people impacted by the life of Kobe Byrant.
As Christians we know that there is no such thing as an untimely death. God is sovereign. He is sovereign over the world, and everything that happens in it. Yet, we still claim: “It’s too soon!” “They just started living life!” or “Life is not fair!”
When you say, “They just started living life,”and “Life is not fair” those statements could possibly be true. Life doesn’t seem fair at times. We lose our jobs, our kids misbehave, friends die, houses flood and the list goes on.
Life happens. Death happens. And it happens once.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27
Death happens once and right after that comes judgment. To a nonbeliever that statement should cause genuine fear. For the believer it should be something we welcome. We know we will be held accountable and face judgement. When we, as believers, face judgment I think we will see the full extent of God’s grace on display. We will receive our crowns of life. 2ndTimothy 4:8 “ (2 Timothy 4:8) “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
There is such finality in death. It is the end of that person’s time here in this world we live in. Once the person dies the people that are left behind have to develop a new norm. There is a missing spot at the dinner table, the text messages and calls throughout the day cease, the plans for dinner with that person are now changed. It’s a tough pill to swallow. I think about the people that I’ve lost in my life, and I know that I don’t really believe the saying “It gets better with time.” You still may think about those loved ones daily and miss them daily. You may still develop a lump in your throat when you see a sunset that they are not present for or when you hear something funny that they would laugh at. You never stop missing those times. You long to be with that person and it still hurts.
People die and are dying every day. Yet life continues. Traffic is the same, football games are still played, Twitter is still lively and wild, but there are people who die each day.
It is a part of life that will affect us all one day.
I am not here to tell you how to grieve, or when to grieve and when not to grieve. I am simply writing this article to tell you, brethren, that you have a gift that you can share with others. You have salvation. You have hope that when you pass on from physical death to eternal life you will spend eternity in glory. Think about that. You know the truth about salvation.You know the truth about Jesus. Why would you keep that a secret? Why would you interact with others on a daily basis--lost people--and not share this truth with them? Sure, we know about the doctrine of election. We know God already knows who will spend eternity with Him. We are still required to share the good news with others. It is our duty. Think about yourself. Think about a time when someone shared the gospel with you. Say they were educated on the doctrine of election, but they were obedient and chose to plant seeds and shared The Word with you. We all have experienced the regenerating love of God. Jesus saved sinners like you and me.
My dear brother Pastor Allen Nelson wrote a wonderful book titled From Death to Life How Salvation Works. If you haven’t read the book please click here to get yourself a copy. In this book he speaks about what being a Christian is, and as the title indicates--how salvation works. Check out this excerpt from his book.
“It’s time to intentionally, prayerfully, and strategically, eliminate the great zombie hordes among us- not by killing them off but by seeing them brought from death to life, one by one. And if they won’t join us then at least loving them enough to show them the dreadfulness of their current status before God and the hopelessness of their eternity should they continue to live in rebellion against their most holy and benevolent Creator.”
Shouldn’t this be a serious burden to us all? It’s possible that you’re reading this and recognize that there are actually people you’ve misled in their coming to Christ (I’m guilty too.)”
That sums it up! That is the attitude to have when sharing the gospel.
So, now that you know you have this news to share with others, be passionate about it. Be EAGER. Take every opportunity to share it. Share it with the young, the old, the student, the teacher, the engineer, the housekeeper, your mom, your dad, your child’s teacher, your landlord. Share it. Don’t let another person who you interact with die without the knowledge of Christ. Because when death comes again for your loved one, your friend, your favorite basketball star, you can rejoice that they have gone on into GLORY.
Jesus told his disciples the night before his crucifixion that he has prepared a place for them.
“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” John 14:2
We long to see King Jesus in the place he has prepared for us, and brethren, we will.