Solomon said that there is a time to be born, and a time to die. None of us really likes to think about death. However, if the time of the Lord’s return for us is still a ways off, many of us are going to the Lord by way of death, rather than by the rapture. And so we should understand how to face this enemy called death. We should be preparing for death.
First, if you’re not born again, you should trust Jesus now. Rom 5:12 shows us that death passed upon all men. But Rom 6:23 shows us that, though the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. When you believe on Jesus, your soul escapes the second death, Rev 21:8.
For this reason, death bed conversions are not uncommon. Consider the repentant thief on the cross. Even though your body is buried in the grave, when Jesus returns at the rapture, your body rises incorruptible, 1 Cor 15:54-55. Therefore, all three parts of your being, spirit, soul and body, that were affected by death are likewise affected by eternal life. So, it’s time to get saved, if you’re not.
You should remember that Christians die. Death gets us all, unless we go up at the rapture. Yet, many try to “fight” death. The idea is that they’ll do anything in their power to stay alive. While I completely understand this mindset, we must remember that it’s very important that we get with God when we have a potentially terminal illness.
Some sickness the Lord leads us to overcome by his divine healing. We saw many instances of this during Jesus’ earthly ministry. And we still hear testimonies about this today. Some sickness the Lord allows us to overcome by healing naturally. Consider Epaphroditus in Phil 2:25-30. And some illness the Lord allows us to overcome by medical cure.
Yet sometimes, he leads us to accept death. In 2 Ki 13:14-20, Elisha was fallen sick of the sickness whereof he died. He didn’t fight it. He finished his business and died. Paul knew that the time of his departure was at at hand, 2 Tim 4:6. He didn’t fight it.
You should keep your house in order. Preparing for death involves putting your house in order. In 2 Sam 17:23, before Ahithophel died, he put his household in order. There are certain practical measures you should take to prepare your household for the possibility that you might not be around in the future. You should talk with a good attorney and trusted advisor about a will, about life insurance, about the way your assets are titled, and so forth. You should instruct your spouse or children on how to manage your household affairs in your absence.
Another way to put your household in order is to settle your offenses between you and your family and friends. An elderly lady was saved shortly before she died. She sought forgiveness from all of those she had offended and then she died.
You must seek to glorify God in your body, even in death. We are to glorify God in our bodies, 1 Cor 6:19-20. And therefore, in preparing for death, we can even glorify him in our death. Jesus showed Peter by what death he should glorify God, Jn 21:19. Peter knew when his time had come to die, and he didn’t fight it, 2 Pet 1:14.
The way Paul lived is that he died daily, 1 Cor 15:31. And he looked at death as gain, Phil 1:21. Therefore he sought to glorify God with his life and his death, 2 Cor 5:1-8.
One of the best ways to do this is to make sure your family and friends know about Jesus. I man for whom I officiated a funeral recently had called all his family and friends before his death to witness to them and to encourage the to get saved. When I preached his funeral 15 people asked for New Testaments following the service.