"'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. -- I Corinthians 15:55-57
Not long ago I visited a funeral home and was stunned to see the way they "advertised" their services. Funerals are now portrayed as "celebrations of life." Funeral services now have themes: if the deceased enjoyed fishing, then funeral directors offer a display of rods, reels, nets and other fishing doo-dads to decorate the casket. If the dead person liked gardening, then its watering cans, hoes and rakes, and sunflowers with a floppy straw hat cocked sideways on the coffin. We are kidding ourselves when we romanticize death as the beautiful climax of a life well lived. It is an enemy.
It is an even greater enemy to the unbeliever, for death then becomes his threshold to hell (that's nothing to celebrate)! Jesus spoke of hell more than anybody, and he made plain that rejecting his offer of eternal life would result not in non-life, but the misery of God's wrath (John 3:36).
As hell is the worse outcome of this life, so eternal life is the best. It is the supreme and ever-increasing happiness where all sin and all sadness will be erased... all that is evil in this fallen world will be removed... all that is good will be preserved and intensified. We will be changed so that we are capable of more happiness than we could possibly conceive in this life. That's something to celebrate!
Oh, if only unbelievers could see the unspeakable horror of treating God with indifference or contempt in this life. Unbelievers have only this earthly life in which to hear the Gospel and respond to Christ's invitation. Today, will you be encountering someone who doesn't believe in Christ? Share with them your testimony and pray for their salvation.
Blessed Redeemer, today make me mindful of every opportunity to share your love with those who don't know you.
Joni and Friends"
Taken from Pearls of Great Price. Copyright © 2006 by Joni Eareckson Tada. Used by permission. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530