No Fear Of Death (Acts 25)

11 If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.” Acts 25:11

If you knew her, you would laugh because she has so much joy.  Her name, “Mary.”  She and her sister are full of life.  One of Mary’s favorite things to do is to zipline. Now, you might say, “So what!”  But what if I told you, Mary was in her seventies.  And by the way, she is. Mary is one of those crazy Christians who have “no fear of death.”

Question, “Where are you with the issue of death?”

People have many approaches when it comes to the subject of death.  Some people refuse to talk about death and they even refuse to go to someone else’s funeral service.  Others poke fun of death as those it is no big deal.  Still others focus on death with a fear that grips them more and more as they approach the day of death.

Consider Paul’s state of mind concerning death in Acts 25.

Once again, Paul is facing trial.  He has been under arrest for 2 years awaiting a verdict of either innocence or death.  In the chapter before us a new governor takes rule.  His name is Festus (Not the one on Gunsmoke).  He is a typical politician in that he wants to please the crowds.  The problem he has is simply, “None of the people who levied charges against Paul could prove them.”

Festus attempts to get Paul to go back to Jerusalem to stand trial.  But Paul appeals to Caesar.  We ask the question, “Was Paul afraid of going back because of having to face death?”  The answer is no!  Paul makes it clear, “I have no fear of death.”

How could anyone be like Paul and Mary?  Answer, “You need to know what God has to say about death.”

  • Death is real, Hebrews 9:27 “It is once appointed unto man to die…”
  • Death was no match for Jesus, I Cor. 15:20-26

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

  • Death was rendered powerless by Jesus: I Corinthians 15:51-57

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55 “O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Death is the release from all the brokeness of the world.  Revelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

  • Death is our passage way to our reward, II Timothy 4:6-8

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

Brothers and sisters, in Christ, we have no reason to fear death!!!  I love the following lines in the song, “In Christ alone.”  I leave them with you:

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
’til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

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