In the forty years of my ministry I have seen many people approach death and have seen some die.
Some, who knew Christ as their Savior, were ready, even eager, to go to be with Him. Some passed from this scene with songs or words of praise on their lips. Others, who had failed to prepare, died in mortal fear, not merely of death, but of what lies beyond.
These things do not always run true to form, however, for I have also seen the most hardened unbelievers go out of this life joking and seemingly unafraid, while, on the other hand, I have seen sincere Christians cringe with fear at the approach of death. These human reactions did not change the fact that the unbelievers had reason to be afraid, while the believers need not have feared.
The Word of God tells us that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27,28). It is the “after this” that makes men so afraid to die. They fear the truth of Rom. 14:12, that “every one of us shall give account of Himself to God.”
But wait: we did not quote all of Heb. 9:27,28. The full passage reads as follows:
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time apart from sin, unto salvation.”
This can mean only one thing: that Christ died for us and bore the judgment for our sins, the “second death.” This is why Heb. 2:9-15 declares that “by the grace of God” Christ “tasted death for every man… that through [His] death He might… deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.