What scares you the most about dying?

Zach —  January 20, 2013 — 4 Comments

It starts with a pain, not a definitive one—just this nagging ache running down your left arm.  You’ve heard that this is one of the signs of a heart attack but you’re too young for such things.  You begin to feel a tightness spreading through your chest and the pain in your arm begins to increase.

“Man, I feel weird,” you think as you ease yourself down on the couch, rubbing your left arm and clenching and unclenching your fist.  You think, “Maybe I should call someone,” but you reason that it would be so embarrassing when it goes away and you have to explain you were scared.

Then, it hits.

 “The end of your life is staring you back in the eyes, up close—eyeball to eyeball.”

Your jaw begins to feel a pain like your teeth are hurting.  The pain increases.

“This can’t be real!” you think as the pain overwhelms you and a descending darkness, like the fade at the end of a movie, blurs and coats your vision like a pull down shade.  You can’t move now and the pain is unbearable.  You know.  You just know.

“ It’s impossible.  This can’t happen to me!”

But, there it is.  It’s fact.  You are dying.

In that moment, during the time after you sit down on the couch, the realization that you may be dying hits you right in the reality.

“What’s going to happen to me if I die?”  Your mind screams as the terror mounts and you begin fading into yourself and a numbing coldness starts moving from your extremities towards your middle, toward your heart.  Then—you’re gone.

Where did you go?

Where will you wake up?

What are you now?

These and other questions are answered by the worldview that you hold.  What is the last thought that runs through your mind as death slowly—but inescapably— claims you?

 Let’s run the clock back.

 Like an old VCR tape, you see yourself speeding back second by second into the past to where you were just before the first realization that something drastically wrong was about to play out.  Every thought of the past 15 minutes is as clear and as vivid as anything you have ever experienced in your life.

The past 15 minutes are all that you can think about as you realize what is about to happen.  What are your thoughts now?  Are you thinking about it as you read these words?  You remember laughing with others about,

“Oh well, might as well enjoy life to the max!  We’re not goin’ to ever get out of this world alive!”  Or perhaps you remember thinking,

“Everyone dies, but I don’t want to dwell on such things.  Just live each day to the fullest!”

 Maybe the following invades your memory as you await that first pain of the heart attack you know is coming and that is going to end your life in the next 15 minutes.

“Hey Bill,” your friend asks as you down another beer and slap down another grain-fed steak at the neighborhood, Sunday night cookout.

You love these outings that are held each weekend in the Spring and Summer months.  In fact, you started them 8 years after that Spring when you moved into the neighborhood.

“Let’s run down and get another case after this steak and watch the game!”  He laughs uproariously.  “ Only the good die young and we be bad to da bone!”

“Ok,” you belch—scarf down the last bite—and drain one beer and reach for another, “Let’s go!”

 

  • What is your worldview about death?
  •  Are you afraid of dying?
  •  Do you think about it?
  •  Do your hide from the realities of it? 
  • Are you comfortable with it?
  • Are you aware of what others think about it? 
  • How about your friends?
  • Your fellow employees where you work?
  • Then there’s your spouse and kids?
  • What are you teaching your kids about death?

 

What do you fear, what you think about, what do you hide from, how how can you become comfortable with death, what do you discuss with others, teach your kids?  It all depends upon how you view the world around you. Please be thinking on the above questions.

 In the next post, we will begin to consider the major world views mentioned in the post, How To See Out Of The Window.

The first worldview we will investigate is that of human secularism.  I look forward to coming alongside you as we investigate this prevalent, 21st century worldview.

Until then!

Zach

 

Question:  What is your greatest fear and how does it look from your worldview?

Zach

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First off, I am a family man. My wife Rhonda and I have 5 grown children, four boys (Shane, Brian, Brent, and Billie) and one girl (Melanie). We have three grandchildren (Kaylin - 6, Olivia - 8, and Bellevae - 3 mo.). Family is a top priority for Rhonda and I. My interests center around my faith, my family, the church I pastor (Mescalero Baptist Church - Mescelaro, New Mexico on the Mescalero Apache reservation), my hobbies ( walking and jogging, hiking, Bible study, pastoring and mentoring, disciple making, and writing). My professional interests are performing my duties as an ordained minister (SBC), certified life coach, certified pasttoral counselor, author, public speaker, and Christian apologist. My education consists of a BS in religion (Liberty University), currently finishing my MA in professional counseling (Liberty University), planning my Doctorate in Counselimg Psychology. I am presently concluding my studies at Biola University in Christian apologetics and NAMB as a nationally Certified Apologetics Instructor (CAI). My career goals are aimed towards helping others and towards the coming of the kingdom of God.
  • http://www.facebook.com/dallas.swoager Dallas Swoager

    The first thing that popped into my head on this topic was the vague remembrance of a Christian magazine headline about escapism. That always brings me to Paul in Philippians 1:21 to live is Christ, to die is gain. My world view in regards to death falls way closer to the second half of that statement than the first, but to live a real Christian worldview is to be able to stand with Paul on both accounts. If we cling too closely to life we have a tendency to become conformed to the world in some aspect or another. If we cling to closely to the latter reality we risk being so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good.

    • http://twitter.com/PastorZMalott Pastor Zach Malott

      Hello Dallas!

      Thank you for your comment as it is greatly appreciated!

      First, I would like to ask if the question of interest concerning your greatest fear revolves around Phil. 1:21? To respond to your comment, I need to know if I am correct in my thinking, as I am looking at your comment in terms of the above question. Please help me to clarify my thinking and inform me if my assumption is incorrect.

      I would like to respond to what I understand you saying, in terms of your standing with Paul, that to live in Christ might imply getting too close to the world and becoming involved in it. My response would be that biblical example of Christian is to die to self and live in Christ. This implies not living for self but for Him; leaving self out of the equation. Paul’s thinking appears to be If we live in Christ, we will not have the tendency to involve ourselves in worldly perversions. This, of course, revolves around our being
      faithful and not like the ones mentioned in Phil. 1:15-17.

      In response to Paul’s second half of verse 21, Paul grants us his meaning in the second half of verse 23. He appears to be saying that he counts being with Christ to be the better choice; however, thinking of others over his own desires, he chooses to remain for the benefit of the Philippians. I see
      nothing that would be indicative that Paul was afraid of slipping back into a worldly behavior in the first part of verse 21. Further, I see nothing to indicate that he was becoming so heavenly minded as to be useless. The wording of the Bible indicates that his whole life from that day on the road to Damascus was spent selflessly for Christ, even when he was productively engaged in the making of tents.

      That being said, if you will read the first chapter of Philippians in its entirety, I believe that you will grasp the sense in which Paul was talking in a better context than just reading verse 21 alone. If the context is not provided to you after a thorough examination of this chapter, please comment to this post and we will take a closer look at it together.

      Again, thank you ever so much for your comment and I look forward to reading more from you in future! 🙂

      • http://www.facebook.com/dallas.swoager Dallas Swoager

        To more directly answer your question about my greatest fear in death, it is that I do not really fear death. I stand with Paul in feeling that my destination is secure and that it would be much better to be with Christ. The problem that I have is that I find myself not valuing the other side of that equation as much as I should. In this case I find myself (and I doubt I am alone) falling into the two categories that I addressed. The first is one of being resigned to the life that we are living, but not totally holding onto your purpose for being, so falling back into living for self. The second being one that is so pining for the time to come that you are not useful for the time that you have now.

        To kind of paraphrase where I think Paul is coming from, I think that he realizes that things will be incalculably better when the suffering of this world is in the past and we can be with God, but if that time has not yet come and we have allied ourselves with Christ the He has plans for us and we should be about His business. That counteracts selfish living because your allegiances have changed and it counteracts our idle pining for the future because it shows that we have a purpose. There is a reason behind who we are, where we are, and when we are living, and we must live in that reality as followers of Christ.

        • http://twitter.com/PastorZMalott Pastor Zach Malott

          Hello Dallas!

          Great clarification as to where you stand on this post topic. We are both striving to follow Him and we both have moments of “self” of which we are keenly aware of. This is good. The HS conviction we experience is to our benefit for self-examination, confessing, repenting, and relying on God’s grace as we move to, once again, die to self and persevere, push on, run the race in obedience.

          Thanks for your post. Please give your comments on other posts!

          Blessings,

          Zach