The other day I was playing a game on my phone when an ad popped up for an app that allows you to try on different hairstyles. Well, they got me. I’m a girl, and what girl doesn’t want to find the best hairstyle? So, I downloaded the “free” app to try it out. The first step was to take a photo of yourself. After I did this, the app went to work “analyzing” me. It analyzed my face shape…my gender (interestingly it had no trouble marking me as “female”)…my age (ten years younger than actual by the way)…and even a category where I scored “happy.” I guess my smile was genuine.
I must admit I was a little leery as I watched this artificial intelligence “size me up” so quickly. You know these games and apps aren’t just for making money or having fun. They’re gathering information and data on the user, and this one wasn’t even hiding it. After a minute, I was given the option to “continue” to see my best hairstyles, but of course, there was one roadblock. They wanted $19.99. Alas, the app was deleted; I guess I’m sticking with this same hair!
This experience begs the question, “What if it’s all true?” What if there is a hidden agenda behind all the data that is being collected on our phones and computers and social media posts? What if one day the police knock on our door, having collected enough evidence that we don’t agree with the current cultural narratives, and declare our biblical perspective and beliefs are now counted as criminal acts against the law? What if they haul out the handcuffs and drive us off to jail, or even something worse?
While I’m sure my natural human fears would kick in and my heart would likely beat a little faster, I can honestly say, I have perfect peace should that happen. The reason? Christmas Gift #6 that Jesus came to give us.
Gift #1 – Jesus was born so that we could be born again.
Gift #2 – Jesus walked so that we could worship.
Gift #3 – Jesus spoke so that we could see.
Gift #4 – Jesus suffered so that we could stand.
Gift #5 – Jesus died so that we could die to sin.
Gift #6 – Jesus lives so that we could live again.
When you know that physical death is simply a door to walk through to the eternal life Jesus offers, you’re not afraid to die. In fact, while we don’t seek death, we look forward to the natural end of our lives, because we are drawing ever closer to the real life for which we were created.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 5:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
John 10:27-28 – My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
1 John 5:11-13 – And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
1 Corinthians 6:14 – Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power.
We are born with a natural aversion to and fear of death. Until we meet Jesus, this fear of death rules us. We do everything we can to avoid it; we get angry when it happens to someone we love; we spend billions trying to beat it. But the statistics never change. 100% of all people die. The only ones who will escape physical death are those who are in Christ when Christ appears. Until that promised event takes place, none of us are getting out of here alive!
There is hope, however, for those who put their faith in Jesus and accept the free gift of eternal life. Death has lost its sting. When Jesus walked out of the grave, He did away with the fear of death forever and made possible eternal life for all who receive His life through the Holy Spirit. When our hearts stop beating on the day God ordained for our physical death, we will open our eyes to our eternal life. We will live forever and ever in glorified bodies that never get sick, never fail, and never die.
1 Corinthians 15:50-57 – Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you afraid to die? Then you haven’t fully received or understood this gift.
Jesus lives, so that we can live again.
Oh friend, I pray that you have this hope of eternal life. Truly, it is a Christmas gift that keeps on giving.
John 11:25-26 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”