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Jan 21, 2018
Passage: John 12:27

Are you afraid of the consequences of death?

Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour

(JOHN 12:27)

[Beloved,] why are you so dismayed at the prospect of getting home? Are you afraid of dying, or of what you may suffer in your last conflict? Turn again [and look] to your rest; for the Lord will deal bountifully with you, and be better to you than your fears.

None returns from the grave to tell us what it is to die. Some happy believers have indeed sung in their last moments, “O death, where is thy once imagined sting? Can this be termed dying?” (1 CORINTHIANS 15:55) And, very probably, the passage is both sweeter and smoother than living imagination is apt to suppose. I lost an excellent parishioner in the year 1760. Though he had not the least doubt of his salvation, but, as far as spiritual and eternal things were concerned, lay for many weeks triumphing in the full assurance of faith; he still dreaded the separation of soul and body, from an apprehension of what nature must endure in the parting stroke. Some little time before the knot was actually untied, God was pleased to indulge him with afore taste of death. He was, for near an hour, quite gone in appearance: and his family began to conclude, that the final struggle was over. By degrees, however, he came to himself: and on my asking him how he did, he answered, that God had given him a specimen of death, and he found it not so terrible as he apprehended. From that period, all his dread of dying vanished away; and he continued without any shadow of fear, filled with the peace which passeth all understanding, until his disimprisoned spirit flew to the bosom of God. Oh then, whoever thou art, that art troubled in like manner, cast thy burden on the Lord. You have found him faithful in other things, and you may safely trust him for this. He has delivered you in six troubles, and in the seventh he will be nigh unto you. The water-floods shall not overflow thee, neither shall the deep swallow thee up. The rock of ages lies at the bottom of the brook; and God will give you firm footing all the way through.

Or, are you afraid of the consequences of death, and what will come after? Throw your self upon God in Christ, and you are safe. “Christ’s righteousness is law-proof, death-proof, and judgment-proof.”

Are you fearful what may become of your family when God calls you away? Make your family over to him. Nominate Jehovah for their guardian and trustee. Cast anchor upon that comfortable promise: Leave thy fatherless children; I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me (JEREMIAH 49:11).

You tremble, perhaps, at the thought of laying aside your weak, sinful, mortal, body. But you will receive it again: not such as it now is, frail, defiled, and perishable; but bright with the glory, and perfect in the image of God. The body is that to the soul, which a garment is to the body. When you betake yourself to repose at night, you lay aside your clothes until morning; and resume them, when you rise. What is the grave, but the believer’s wardrobe, of which God is the door-keeper? In the resurrection morning, the door will be thrown open, and the glorified soul shall descend from heaven to put on a glorified robe, which was indeed folded up and laid away in dishonour; but shall be taken out from the repository, enriched and beautified with all the ornaments of nature and of grace.

[Do] you [loath] to bid a long adieu [goodbye] to your Christian friends? The adieu will not be a long one. They will soon follow, to the place of rest. And, in the mean time, you will be with Christ, and with all the saints who have been gathered home before you: which is far better (PHIL. 1:23). [AMEN!]

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