And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment. Hebrews 9:27
Years ago, I knew a man who, when he had a dream about someone, that person would die in the next two weeks.
When that man was young, he felt it was his duty to share that news with the individuals concerned. He felt it was his responsibility to let that fellow know. That way, if the individual wanted, he could get himself prepared for his known hour of departure.
Now before I go any further about this individual, let me ask, if you had known this man, would you want to know when your end was coming? Over the years I've received two sets of answers to the question.
One group says, "Of course, I'd want to know. I'd want to spend some time picking out the hymns for my memorial service. I'd like to select the pallbearers, the flowers and my headstone. I'd want to apologize for what I've done wrong and the people against whom I've sinned. Along with that, I'd like to say a proper farewell to my family and friends."
The second group says, "No, I don't want to know when I'm going to die. I'm content to know my loving Lord will do what is right and best for me. Besides, I daily repent of what I've done wrong and believe in visiting with the folks I've upset right away. Finally, I don't have to wait until I'm dying to pick out hymns, pallbearers, Bible verses and headstones."
Two different schools of thought. You know which one you picked.
As for the man who did the dreaming, as the years passed, he found himself keeping the information to himself. He found that when people believed they were going to die, they didn't act all that sensibly. Rather than preparing for their leaving, they tried to figure out ways they could stick around.
They went to him for advice, asking, "If I do this or that or something else, will it make a difference?" The answers to those questions the man didn't know. He just knew that when he had a dream about people, they died. He had given them all he had.
Of course, our Heavenly Father also tells us we are going to die. He may not confine Himself to a day or month or year, but it's a pretty sure thing: you're going to die.
The reality of our death is why we need a Savior. The Father tells us we are going to die, but He also says that all who believe on His Son will escape eternal death and live in heaven forever. Because of Jesus' life, death and resurrection, our sins have been removed and we are, once again, part of the Lord's family of faith.
The dream of death has been replaced by Jesus' reality of sins forgiven and life eternal.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to appreciate and acknowledge You as the One who governs all seasons. We may not understand Your timing or why You do certain things. Even so, as Your children, we acknowledge that Your ways and wisdom are far beyond ours. This is why we pray, "Thy will be done." In Jesus' Name, we pray it be done. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries