We are all waiting to die, in-between we find things to do. “Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.” (Hosea 13:3)
I have read in many books by men of God that the life best well-lived is the one that contemplates its death on a regular basis, but I have met very few people that live by this wisdom. One set of individuals will rush through life, grabbing all they can, searching continuously for that brass ring, an old terminology that, in part, comes from the merry-go-rounds that were prevalent in the 19th century. A brass ring was placed just outside of the reach of those on the ride, and the one that was able to grab it was given a free ride on the attraction. Nearly everyone, many Christians included, are trying to get that brass ring, the one thing in this life that will give it value, that will make it seem all worthwhile.
For some it is their children, or even grandchildren, for others it is their employment field, their yard, the list is nearly as endless as there are people on this planet. It is always something in the future, and it has never been and never will be attained by any that seek after it. For far too many Christians today, it is the rapture, and while there is a crown for those who love His appearing, (2 Tim. 4:8) it has gone far beyond what the Scriptures intended when all many do is fixate upon that moment, to the loss of what they are to be doing, glorifying the Lord.
Death comes to all men, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Heb. 9:27) it is the way that the Lord has intended for us to realize that life is to be lived, but if it is not lived for His glory, it is a wasted life. That brass ring that the lost are searching for will never be attained, and death to them is the final enemy, not a doorway to the Lord, for they do not consider Him, He is no more to them than a hope, a fanciful dream, one that is based at best upon their works, that good life lived.
Sadly, many who profess Christ fall into this same category, they hope they will be allowed to enter the gates of the kingdom of God, there is little assurance to their faith, they hope, but their hope does not rest in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and so in the same manner they base their faith, their hope, on some form of works. They show up on Sunday morning, they sing the songs, listen to the sermon, hope for the Lord to come and take them up into the clouds, but not to die that day, they want that brass ring. Their faith does not rest in Christ, but in their works for Him, in their attempted obedience to what they believe they need to do to stay in His “good graces.”
There is little time spent by most people, saved or lost, on the concept of their own death, it is the great enemy, not the door to the kingdom, and it is this fear of death that will not allow them to be truly free.
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36) Free from what? Surely not the influences of our sinful nature, not from the sin that still inhabits our flesh, not from the world and the evil in it, but from the desire to grab that brass ring. We get one ride on that merry-go-round, it is to be enjoyed, and that enjoyment can only come from a life that knows no fear of death, one that can say in all truth, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21) The fear of death can only be assuaged by the assurance of our salvation, and that assurance can only arrive when we comprehend the perfect love that is offered to us. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)