To Die in Peace

Mark the blameless (ESV) and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. Psalm 37:37, KJV

This verse concluded Eastside Baptist’s revival services. And what an appropriate way to conclude them, too. For just as this verse deals with the “end of [the blameless and upright] man” so this verse also ended our services. Tonight, Bro. Currin preached on how to die in peace. He opened with the following exposition of this verse:

Pay careful attention to the word blameless, which means to be morally upright, pious, righteous in character and practice. This man is the true Christian. Closely examine the upright, for the end of such people, true Christians, is peace. Peace means safety, wellness, or happiness in the original Hebrew.

What marks the blameless and upright, the true Christian, though? Humility (Psalm 37:11). Hunger for righteousness (and thus for Christ, who is our righteousness; Matthew 5:6). Holiness (Matthew 5:8).

All true Christians die in peace. Jesus said in John 8:51, “If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste death.” Before tonight, I thought that this teaching referred to spiritual death, but somehow even in that thought I felt within my heart to be distorting Christ’s words. Tonight, through gracious exposition of this very verse’s meaning, Bro. Currin showed me to be wrong, and I am so thankful and so joyful to know that Christ’s words are truly transparent and are literal! Our Savior was not speaking metaphorically and He did not lie; those who keep Christ’s word—true Christians—will never taste death! Praise God! Even Luke 16:22, which says that Lazarus died, does not mean that he ceased to live in any way; the original Greek actually means a dying. Christians don’t die, they transition—they transcend—into eternity! Praise the Lord! In 1 Thessalonians 4:14, we read that Christians sleep in Jesus, not to mean soul sleep but that we are secure; our spirit is at rest with Jesus, as 2 Corinthians 5:8 makes clear. The Bible does not present heaven so much as a place but as being with a Person—Jesus Christ. Death is not the end but only the beginning!

We see throughout the Bible and church history that the end of Christians is peace. See Genesis 49:3 and Luke 16:22 for Biblical pictures of peace at the moment of dying, transitioning into heaven. When John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress, was in jail and his daughter Mary was dying, he could not go to her bedside. But at her entrance into heaven, Mary said, “Tell my papa that I will see him in the celestial city.” What peace! … Contrastingly, there is only indescribable torment at the deaths of those outside of Christ. Modern medicines and morphine have largely taken the horrid wails from this experience, but look at Luke 16:22-24; the rich man is not tormented by flame, he is tormented in flame. The fires of hell were and are all-consuming. When Voltaire, the noted French atheist, was on his deathbed for many months, he would cry out with such vehemence that his friends guarded his door so that others would not see the horror of the death of an infidel. Voltaire’s nurse was so disturbed that she said that she would not take all the gold of Europe to see another infidel die. Voltaire literally got a small taste of hell when he gnashed his teeth in rage at God and man even before he crossed hell’s threshold.

To die in peace, make your calling and election sure (2 Peter 1). Resolve to live walking in the fear of the Lord. Live with no regrets—follow God with all that you have and all that you are! Live and die purposefully for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

I leave you with Isaiah 55:1, 6-7 and links to five previous articles I have posted that will hopefully help you live so that when you die, you can die in the everlasting peace of the Lord.

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. … Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

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