Is it wrong to be a Christian and still fear death?
I truly feel like I live my life fully for the Lord, but I think about death often and it scares me. I try to think of how beautiful and wonderful heaven will be, but I still find myself struggling to grasp it all. I love my life. I have a precious one-year-old who makes every day a blessing. When I think about not being promised tomorrow or the years ahead to watch her grow, it upsets me. I also know that I struggle and sin just like anyone else and it scares me to think of what would happen if I sinned and then died before being able to repent. Is this normal? Am I somehow in the wrong? Is there any advice that you can give me, please?
Thank you so much in advance. I have been reading answers from your website every night before bed and feel like it has brought me to a better understanding of lots of topics that were difficult for me to fully grasp.
A common source of fear is the unknown. Thus, children fear what might be under the bed because they haven't looked and they can't check when it is dark. Adults can have the same sorts of fears about the future and about life after death.
We know that our lives are relatively short and we have no guaranteed time on this earth. "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away" (James 4:14). However, Jesus taught us not to worry about the future because we know that God cares for us (Matthew 6:25-34). Look back at problems you faced in the past and somehow things manage to work out. It comes down to how much do you trust God. The more faith you have in God, the less you have to fear. "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me" (Psalms 23:4).
If you fear that some imagined last-minute sin will keep you out of heaven, then you don't understand God and His mercy. As Christians, we strive to live righteously. "Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:9-10). This means when we work hard at staying out of sin because we do fear God's wrath. Yet, at the same time, we know of God's love. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us" (I John 4:18-19). Thus, here you have room to grow your love for God.
Neither of these is wrong, they are just signs of immaturity and a need to grow.
I have read this answer over and over several times. It has given me a lot to reflect on. Each time I have read it, I have felt more at peace because I have forgotten about God’s mercy. And the more I re-read and pondered your response, the more I began to see that I am immature in many areas in my love for God. This is an area I need to work on. Thank you for letting your light shine and for helping to show me the way.