In Billy Joel’s famous, but very anti-Christian song, “Only The Good Die Young,” I wonder if he ever understood that he (albeit unknowingly) threw some pretty good theology into the title? One of the most comforting things that happens to someone when they accept and understand Christ’s atonement for their sins is that their fear of death begins to fade away. Just like with many other things Satan uses for evil, God can use death as a reward if He so chooses. In other words, God sometimes grants a person death to allow them to be spared evil. Like the Apostle Paul stated so aptly, “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” Or, in “Kilby ease,” “Whatever!”
Years ago, I had a grandmother pass away who I understand was in severe pain for several years prior to her death. I’m sure she knew that in my mind she was the dearest person on the earth, and that’s probably why she never told me of her pain. When she passed away, however, a relative told me that it was probably for the best and explained her agonizing physical condition. As difficult as it was for me to see her go, I knew she was a Christian and was safe in the Lord’s hands. Still, just so I’m not misunderstood, God, not man, decides when it’s time to go–pain or no pain. Unlike the euthanasia advocates will proclaim, God is still in control–He gives life, and He takes life when He is ready. Suicide is not an option!
“The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.” Isaiah 57:1-2