A: God has put within each of us a strong desire to keep on living, and it's not necessarily wrong for us to want to take care of ourselves and keep death at bay. The Bible says, "Now choose life, so that you and your children may live" (Deuteronomy 30:19).
The Bible also tells us that death was not part of God's original plan for His creation; it came about only because of sin. In fact, the Bible labels death as our final enemy that will only be destroyed at the end of time (see 1 Corinthians 15:26). We mustn't take death lightly; not only does it bring our life on earth to an end, but it also marks our entrance into eternity — either in that place of absolute hopelessness the Bible calls hell, or in the joy of heaven with God forever.
But the good news of the Gospel is that Jesus Christ has conquered death! By His death and resurrection He overcame the power of death and opened heaven's doors for all who repent of their sins and turn to Him in faith and trust for their salvation. Think of it: Because of Christ, we don't need to fear death any longer!
It's easy to become overly preoccupied with our health — particularly as we grow older. But when we know Christ, we know that someday we will go to be with Him forever — and that makes all the difference. Pray for your aunt, and encourage her to take time every day to thank God for Jesus' promise: "Because I live, you also will live" (John 14:19).
Q: My friend refuses to think about anything dealing with life after death. He says the only thing that interests him is his life right now. And anyway, he says, he believes everything will work out for the best somehow. How can I get through to him? — L.Y.
A: Your friend isn't alone; if you stood on a street corner in almost any major city today and asked people how much they think about God or life after death, most would probably give you a similar answer.
Why is this? Why do so many people put their heads in the sand (so to speak) and refuse to think about what will happen to them when they die? One reason, I'm afraid, is because it's simply easier. Why bother thinking about eternity when you have so many other things going on in your life right now? Like the man in one of Jesus' parables, they say to themselves, "Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry" (Luke 12:19).
But often people refuse to think about eternity for another reason: They like the way they're living right now, and they're afraid that if they take God or eternity seriously, they'll have to change. And they might be right, because Christ calls us to repent of our sins and follow Him alone.
Pray for your friend; only God can change his heart and show him the folly of his ways. Pray, too, that you will be a witness for Christ by the way you live — by your love for others and the purity of your life. Remember Jesus' words: "You are the light of the world.... Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14,16).
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.