Death: Friend Or Foe?
11/12 JULY 2020 | Traditional and Prayer & Praise Services
Rev Stanley Chua
Scripture Passage: Ecclesiastes 12: 1-7 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | The time of our death is unknown and the way of our death is unpredictable, but the fact of our death is inescapable. Death can visit at any time.
Not talking about death will not postpone it or bring it a moment sooner. But talking about death, better prepares us for what lies ahead. Life is short and we cannot pretend to be self-made or self-sufficient for we have a creator God.
People avoid the subject of death, because it is taboo and morbid. But death is the destiny of every man, and the living should take this to heart. (Ecc 3: 1-2; 7: 2b) The parable of the rich fool (Luke 12: 13-21) warns us that it is foolish to not think of death and make any provision for it.
In the past, Christians were unafraid to talk about death. Many old hymns have themes centred on the life after death. Yet modern Christians have an aversion to death. The most compelling reason is that modern life is just too good and comfortable to think of leaving.
Another reason is that the health and wealth gospel interprets the Bible based on religious materialism. It is man- or earth-centred rather than God- or heaven- centred. God’s healing and blessing is not understood as God’s grace and prerogative, but as a demand of our rights and entitlement. This subtle and dangerous teaching promotes a love for everything that is in the world. The apostle John reminds us not to love the world, for the lust of the flesh and eyes and the pride of life comes not from the Father but from the world (1 John 2: 15-16).
People fear death because it is a new and lonely experience at the human level. Weakness and suffering precede it, and it is a final experience. There is also the fear of what lies beyond and of judgement after it.
Unbiblical and misconceptions about life after death:
- It is the end of our existence
- Being absorbed into the cosmic consciousness
- Universalism – a belief that eventually all men will arrive safely to heaven.
What the Bible teaches us about death:
- Death is real.
- Death is an enemy.
- Death is never an end of a person.
- Beyond death lies two destinies – heaven or hell.
- This life is decisive for which of those two destinies we are headed towards.
- Death is a conquered enemy.
Death is not only our foe, but can also be our friend as we are ushered into the great inheritance and riches that we have in Christ. We can rejoice that death is a conquered enemy. We have hope and hence do not have to fear death.
(Sermon Notes by Denis Koh)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1. What are some reasons why people are reluctant to talk about death? Share with your group members your fears about death.
2. According to the speaker, what is the problem with the health and wealth gospel in relation to the subject on death?
3. What are some of the unbiblical ideas about life after death mentioned by the speaker?
4. What does the Word of God say about death?
5. How has this sermon helped you in your view of death as a friend more than a foe?