Oh Death, Where is Your Sting?

Death, where is your sting?

In this thought-provoking article, Detective J. Warner Wallace highlights one of the practical out-workings of belief in Christianity. If we truly accept the Christian picture of eternity, that we have an immaterial soul that will carry on forever in relationship with God, it makes sense that we would not fear death nearly as much as those who believe in no afterlife at all. It is certainly understandable that we would be afraid of the unknown or of the loss of loved ones, but we don’t have to worry in the same way materialists do, as long as we genuinely trust the reasons why we believe in the Christian story. This is not the end for us, because Jesus has sacrificed himself for us so that we can continue an eternal relationship with the Creator after our time on earth comes to an end.

This particular topic is interesting because it involves something that none of us can avoid. Everyone, throughout all of history, has been forced to wrestle with death in one way or another. As such, it is comforting to know that the Christian worldview has something to say.

This is one practical benefit of genuine Christian faith. If we place our trust in the Christian picture of death, should we not also ask about the Christian picture of all the other areas of life? This 2015 Pew Research Center Religious Landscape Survey showed that even 50% of people who identify as not religiously affiliated believe in heaven.

We must learn to defend against this in our own thinking. We cannot accept the comforting parts of Christianity, like heaven, and reject the authority God has over the rest of our lives. What does the Christian worldview have to say about how we should interact with culture? What does it say about how we should spend our time, and our money? What about relationships, virtues, and education?

If we believe in the foundations for the Christian worldview, we are told to put God in charge of our entire lives, not just our hope for life after death.

Wallace says:

“…informed, knowledgeable believers fear death less than ‘marginal’ or ‘pragmatic’ believers. There’s a benefit to knowing what you believe and why you believe it.”

“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass 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 though our Lord Jesus Christ.” — 1 Corinthians 15:54-57