It's a dead certainty!
For reading & meditation: 2 Timothy 4:1-8
"Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day '" (v.8)
There can be no doubt that the Bible presents the death of the ungodly as being terrible. How differently, however, does it portray the death of the righteous. Even a hireling prophet like Balaam, bad as he was, recognised that there was something different about the death of the godly. Listen to his words in Numbers 23:10: "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my end be like his" (NKJ). The book of Proverbs puts the same thought in this way: "The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day" (4:18). I heard one preacher say that the happiest woman he had ever seen was a dying woman. She lay on her bed and clapped her hands at the approach of death. Very many people came to look at her bright countenance. "They tell me this is death," she said. "It's not death at all - it's life." People were converted by her bedside, including her son. A theologian by the name of W. Cosley Bell, when he sensed that he was about to leave this world, sent these words to the staff of the college where he was employed: "Tell the young men that I've grown surer of God every year of my life, and I've never been so sure as I am right now. Why it's all so! It's a fact - a dead certainty. Im so glad I haven't the least shadow of shrinking or uncertainty. I've been preaching and teaching these things all my life and Im so interested to find that all we've been believing and hoping is so." That is the way to die. One of John Wesley's proudest claims for the early Methodists was this: "Our people die well.".