Have you ever thought about that last moment in life right before you die? Maybe it’s just me but I sometimes imagine what I would be like in my last moments. Would I be afraid? Would I be at peace? Or Would I feel as if I wasted my life? In truth many people really don’t know when they will die, but this lesson will not focus so much on the deaths that are unexpected; but rather, I am going to focus on the deaths that are. I want you to have in mind people who receive a tragic medical diagnosis, a believer who is sentenced to death, or someone who is literally on their deathbed. Now I know it’s not an easy topic, but it’s something that I believe we should all think about from time to time to help keep our lives in perspective. So, what are 3 things that a Christian should do right before they die?
Let’s find out together!
Many people in the world have what is known as a bucket list. This is a list of things that people desire to do in life before they die. There is nothing inherently wrong with having a list of desires—so long as they do not include things that will bring shame to God’s name. Everyone’s list will be a little different. Things ranging from going skydiving, travelling to certain destinations, or even something as simple as making peace with a loved one. Everyone treasures different things and no one’s list is better than the other. But as Christians, we are to think more deeply and we should know that we will inherent everlasting life…so, what should we do when that moment comes?
The first thing I believe that a Christian should do is pray. It seems simple, and in all honesty it may even be automatic for you, but remembering to pray in your last days or moments is absolutely vital. It can really help to calm or reduce fear that may be overwhelming you in the moment. Let’s be honest, the only life we have experienced is a temporary one, so knowing that you are about to die can be extremely scary… even for a Christian. My advice would be to pray to the Lord and seek His presence. In John 14:27 Jesus states, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” The peace that Jesus gives is not a worldly sense of peace that only makes false promises and that only help for a moment; but rather, it’s the kind of peace that only God can give. A peace and promise that are everlasting even in the face of death. We as Christians do not believe that this life is the end of our existence; instead, we believe and know that we will be changed from what we are now to what God will make us after death, with the promise that we will never have to see or experience death or pain again.
I once had a conversation with a friend. He told me about a talk he had with one of the nurses at the hospital that he frequents to visit the sick. He stated that the nurse conveyed to him that she could see a big difference between her Christian patients and those who did not believe in Christ during their last hours. She stated that there was a sense of peace and calm in the Christian patient’s room, while the unbeliever’s room was usually filled with terror and fear. This is not to say that every single unbeliever has crippling fear when they die, but it is interesting that in the grand scheme of things the nurse noticed a pattern. Again, make sure you pray to seek God’s presence in what will probably be one of your greatest obstacles. Remind yourself of God’s promises so that you will not fear death; but rather, would look forward to the life to come.
The next thing I believe a Christian should do (if they have the time) is review the Gospel. No matter how well you know it, it’s always a good thing to review the very message that you believed in that has saved your soul. Remind yourself of how Jesus, the king of the universe wrapped himself in human flesh and suffered to rescue you from the clutches of death. In 1 John 5:13 it states, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” I think this is what most people fear at the end of their life depending on how they were taught. Many believers grow up never having a full assurance of their own salvation in Christ. This leads to needless fear and anxiety, and is yet another reason why teaching the bible accurately is so important. In first John it states that we may KNOW that we have eternal life. It does not say that we may HOPE that we have eternal life. As a Christian you can have full assurance and confidence that you are saved. Not because you were a good person who did good deeds, but rather you were a person who placed your entire hope in the completed work of a God who has lived a perfect life on your behalf. Reviewing this very truth in your last moments of life can bring great peace and calm in light of your imminent death.
Lastly, given that your mission in life is not just about you and your own salvation. You now have the opportunity to help someone else in your weakest moments. Try to impart to others the truth of Jesus Christ. Be brave in the face of death so as to encourage those who are still living. Let them see your faith flourish even in the scariest moments. Being brave does not mean that you do not have any fear; but rather, in spite of fear, you persevere to the end because of your trust in God. A person who may be sitting beside you in your last moments may be an unbeliever, but there is something about courage in the face of death that can penetrate even the hardest of hearts. Even in your very last moments you can help others. Reach out to people and let them know that you love them, even if they are your enemies. Remind them that you do not hold anything against them and that you want them to be saved as well. Be that example that Christ asks us to be by being a light to the world, because even in your weakest moments the faintest flicker of light that you shine can be just enough light for someone else to see Jesus’ glory and be saved.
I hope and pray that this lesson on what we as Christians should do before we die has helped you; whether you are watching someone pass away or maybe you are the person to whom death is close. I want you to trust in Christ no matter what. I understand and know that there may be some other things that I didn’t cover in this blog that would be good for people in their last moments to do, and if you can think of anything or have experienced anything that would be helpful to others, please do not hesitate to share them in the comments section.
Minister, Jourdan Ortiz