When you're the parent of a little child, you know that one of your great challenges could be getting that little one to sleep at night. When you are the little child, you know why it's hard to get to sleep at night. First, there's that prayer. You know, the one where your Mommy has you pray, "Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord my soul to keep." OK, so far, so good. Then, "If I should die before I wake..." OK, that's it! I am not going to sleep! Who in the world put that line in that prayer? Then there's another reason little kids have a hard time getting to sleep - the monsters, you know the ones in the closet. See, parents never really seem to get it. All kids know that once all the lights go out, there might be a really scary monster waiting in the closet. So, you lie there with your eyes wide open, afraid of what that monster might do if you fall asleep.
Well, we're all grown up now. Right? In a sense, there is still a monster in our closet that makes it very hard for us to be at peace, and this one isn't imaginary. It is all too real - life's ultimate, inevitable reality. Our deep, nagging fear of that monster actually is expressed in the possibility raised in that childhood prayer, "If I should die before I wake..."
The monster of death actually comes out of the closet every time we have to go to a funeral. It comes really close to us when the person who has died is someone about our age. It's not meant to be a morbid thing, but the reality is that one day it will be you in that casket. The longer we live, the more quickly our years seem to slip away. One day the monster will catch every one of us. Beyond our last heartbeat is a lot of unknown and whatever it is, it's forever.
Of course, the only one who can really speak with total authority about death is God. He's the only One who knows what's on the other side. There is some very good news about the monster that lurks in all of our futures. Hebrews 2:14 says, "(Jesus) shared in their humanity so that by His death He might break the power of him who holds the power of death - that is, the devil - and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death."
Now, we know it's inevitable, but we don't know where it will take us. The good thing is we can. If you will put your life in the hands of Jesus Christ, you can be liberated from the fear of death. Why? Because you will know for sure that death for you will mean heaven forever. How can you know that? By having the only thing that could keep you out of God's heaven removed forever, and that's your sin. There is no way you can enter heaven with your sin, and there is no way they can be forgiven by anyone but the One who died to pay for those sins.
This same Bible chapter says that Jesus tasted "death for everyone," that He made "atonement for the sins of the people." Your sins have been paid for. You don't ever have to pay for them if you give yourself to Jesus, and death will just be your graduation to eternal life in heaven. If you have never totally trusted Jesus as your Savior from your sin, you have no hope of heaven.
If you want to begin a relationship with Jesus, would you tell Him that now while you know you've got the opportunity? Don't risk your eternity by waiting. Just tell Him, "Jesus, I've been running my life. I resign. I am Yours because You died for me. You drive from here on."
A lot of people have found help beginning a personal relationship with Jesus Christ just by visiting YoursForLife.net. You can go there today or just call toll free at 877-741-1200.
The monster of death was put to death when Jesus died on the cross. You can finally be free from the fear that haunts us all our lives until we meet Jesus. You can know that if you die before you wake, you will be in heaven forever with Him.