I'M SCARED OF—DEATH AND DYING

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It is very natural to be afraid of dying. We were made to live and even the Bible tells us that DEATH is an enemy. (1 Corinthians 15:26. "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.") But notice it tells us that one day, there will be no more death! 

(Revelation 21:4 "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.")

But God does not want His children to be afraid and terrified of dying; so He tells us the truth about what it is like to die; He tells us that death is a sleep. 

(Psalm 13:3 "Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;") Even Jesus said it was a sleep; (John 11:13. "Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.")

 

WHAT IT IS LIKE WHEN YOU DIE—

Little Kenneth was very sick. He felt that he was not going to get well. Turning toward his mother, who sat by his bedside, he asked, "Mother, what is it like to die?"

Mother was filled with grief, and she knew not how to answer him. She replied, "Kenneth, I must go to the kitchen. I'll be right back." Hurrying there, she prayed, "Lord, show me how to answer Kenneth's question." Immediately, she knew how to express it.

Returning to Kenneth, Mother said, "Kenneth, you know how you have often played hard and gotten very tired in the evening? Then you have come into my room and climbed upon my bed and gone to sleep. Later your father carried you in his arms and put you in your own bed. In the morning you have awakened and found yourself in your own room, without knowing how you got there."

Kenneth said, "Yes, Mother, I know that."

"Well, Kenneth," Mother continued, "death is something like that for God's children. Jesus spoke of death as sleep. God's children go to sleep with they die. Later, at the resurrection, they will arise and be with Christ forever. Heaven is a wonderful place, Kenneth!"

Then the boy smiled and said, "Mother, I won't be afraid to die now. I'll just go to sleep and, later, wake up and be with Jesus forever. I know God will take care of me."

JESUS UNDERSTOOD 

Little Bobby was crossing a busy city street when a big car came round a corner and knocked him down. He was very badly hurt, and some kind people hurried him away to a hospital.

In the hospital Bobby found himself on a cot alongside a little boy named Tommy, whom he knew. Now, Tommy knew something about Jesus, but Bobby, it seemed, knew almost nothing at all about Him.

Poor Bobby was in great pain, and it was feared that he would die.

Presently Tommy said, "I say, Bobby, I have heard that someday, after we are dead, Jesus will come and take us to heaven where there are plenty of good things to eat, and everybody is happy. At the mission they told us that you have only got to ask Him, and He will take you there."

"But I couldn't ask a big Gentleman like that," said Bobby. "He wouldn't listen to a little boy like me."

"Oh, yes, He would," said Tommy, "but you don't have to ask Him. Just put up your hand, like we do at school, when He comes through the hospital. They say He comes through every evening when the lights are turned down."

Evening came. Nurse went around the ward and turned out some of the lights. "I think it's nearly time," said Tommy. "Put your hand up, Bobby."

 Bobby tried to do so, but he was so weak he couldn't manage it. Every time he put his hand up, it fell down.

 Tommy crept out of bed, and with a pillow and the bed­clothes managed to prop up Bobby's hand so that it wouldn't fall down.

"Thank you, Tommy," murmured Bobby. "Do you think Jesus will see it?"

"I am sure He will," said Tommy.

In the morning the little hand was still there. Bobby was dead, but Jesus had understood. 

THE 'WAKE-UP MAN' 

 His name is Claude Terry, and he works in a fine old restaurant in one of the Southern cities of the United States.

The place is open twenty-four hours a day, and Mr. Terry is the night cashier. He begins his work between eight and nine o' clock in the evening and goes home between six and seven in the morning.

I met him some time ago and he told me his story.

It all began many years ago. A customer said to him, "Seeing you will be up all night, would you be so kind as to call me in the morning? Here's my telephone number."

"Of course," said Mr. Terry. "I'll be glad to."

The man was so pleased at Mr. Terry's kindness that he told a friend of his who needed to be called early. Mr. Terry said he would be glad to call him too.

Gradually the idea spread. Pretty soon he was calling ten people every morning. Then fifteen. Then twenty, thirty, forty, fifty! Imagine the time it must have taken him! But Mr. Terry never complained.

Nor did he turn down anybody's request. If a man wanted to be called in the morning, all he had to do was to leave his name and telephone number with Mr. Terry, and without fail he would be called on time.

As the years passed Mr. Terry became known all over town as the "wake-up man." Today he still obliges anyone who wants to be called in the morning.

After I had said good-by to him I couldn't help thinking of Somebody Else who is going to be the "Wake-up Man" for people all over the world. You know who I mean.

When Jesus was talking to poor Martha, whose brother Lazarus had just died, He said, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." John 11:25. Then He went to the tomb where Lazarus had been buried and called, "Lazarus, come forth!" Lazarus heard His voice, got up, and walked out.

So it was with the widow's son who was being taken to the cemetery in a funeral procession. Jesus told the people who were carrying the body to stop. Then He said, "Young man, get up!" And he did.

It was like that, too, when the little daughter of Jairus died. Jesus went to see her and found the room full of weeping women. After putting them all outside, He said, "Little girl, get up!" And she did. Mark 5:41.

Someday, the Bible says, all who are in their graves shall hear His voice. John 5:28, 29. Isn't that wonderful! It means that Jesus is going to wake up everybody from the sleep of death.

How will this happen? A very famous man has told us. In one of his letters the apostle Paul wrote: "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch­angel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." Thessalonians 4:16, 17. 

What a lovely thought! All who have been parted by death from dear ones will be brought together again. Together! Forever!

When will it be? On the "morning" when Jesus comes back again. Then His glorious voice will be heard all around the world, and everybody who went to sleep loving Him will hear it and wake up, never to sleep again.

How comforting it is to think of Jesus as "the Wake-up Man"! He won't forget anybody; not grandpas or grandmas or mammas or daddies or brothers or sisters. He will call everybody who has asked Him to, right on time.

So you see, when we die, it's just like going to sleep. When you are asleep, you don't know anything that is going on, you don't know how much time has passed. 

Then when Jesus returns, He will wake up the dead people who want to be with Him in Heaven and we will all go home with Jesus together!

That is the Really -Truly -Truth that the Bible tells us!

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