Why Christians die and suffer better

Vaclav's picture

"The Greeks [the Greek philosophers] had taught that the very purpose of philosophy was to help us face suffering and death. On this basis writers such as Cyprian, Ambrose, and later Augustine made the case that Christians died and suffered better - and this was empirical, visible evidence that Christianity was "the supreme philosophy."
Timothy Keller, "Walking with God through pain and suffering"

So a philosopher may theorize about the meaning of life and death, but a believer in Jesus Christ has a secure hope. Because Jesus lived and died, and was raised from the dead, we by faith in him have a relationship with God. God has forgiven us our sins, has given us a gift of perfect righteousness in his Son Jesus, has given us a down-payment of his Spirit in our hearts, and we are part of a big worldwide family of believers in our Lord Christ, and we have a guarantee of our resurrection. God is for us in Jesus Christ, God is with us by his Spirit, and we will be with God forever, and with the loved ones who left us to be with God. They may kill us and take our heads off, but we die with confidence that our death is as a chariot of fire which brings us into the presence of Christ Jesus, who loved us and gave himself for us! So, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ in this painful world, be encouraged because our God is in control of life and death, who first brought his Son Jesus up from the grave. So, be brave!

"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (The Letter of the apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome 8:31-39)