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The mystery of death

BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - April 4, 2021 - 12:00am

With all the advancements of science and technology over the years, the one subject matter that remains a mystery is the mystery of death. It has been spoken about, but science and its sophistication have not been able to stop it from happening. With the COVID-19 upon us, humankind is now brought to the realization that death looms so near. We never expected that a tiny little virus invisible to the naked eye would wreak so much havoc and take away so many precious lives.

The topic of death is once more in the minds of many. Ernest Hemingway, the famous author, was obsessed with the reality of death. His father, an intellectual, had killed himself when Hemingway was a young man. As a result, Hemingway wanted to demonstrate to all humanity that he feared neither life nor death. Ironically, when he was sixty-one years old, he committed suicide in a moment of rage and human weakness. And curiously, during one of his death anniversaries, his famous granddaughter supermodel turned actress Margaux Hemingway of “Lipstick” also committed suicide.

The Bible recognizes the inevitability of physical death. In Hebrews 9:27, we read, “Man is destined to die.” In a sense, everyone is terminally ill. Unless Christ returns in our lifetime, our pilgrimage through this world will end in death. Longfellow succinctly observed, “The young may die, and the old must.” Physical death is the most stubborn and persistent enemy of humanity. But it is not the most dangerous foe.

The Bible distinguishes between physical death (which everyone eventually faces) and spiritual death (which everyone initially experiences). Death means separation from something or someone. It implies loneliness. A person begins life separated from God and spiritually dead because of his or her sin. Sartre, the famous French existential philosopher, accurately observed, “Man is alone.” Apart from a personal relationship with God and commitment to Him, every human being is spiritually dead and very much alone.

The Bible also mentions eternal death or “the second death” in Revelation 20:14. This is eternal, irreversible separation from God. Anyone who refuses to commit one’s life to Jesus Christ during their lifetime here on earth will experience this eternal death. Physical death is not the end of our existence. The question is where you and I will spend eternity – in heaven or hell? There is no other option. The reality of death and hell should motivate everyone to contemplate this serious question and induce us to make the right decision.

Many people die each day and pass into a Christ-less eternity. History frequently records their agonizing last words when they realize that they are left without hope by rejecting Christ.

• Francois Voltaire, the noted French infidel, once stated, “In twenty years, Christianity will be no more. My single hand shall destroy the edifice it took twelve apostles to rear.” Yet when he faced death, he cried, “God and man abandon me!” Voltaire’s doctor expressed astonishment at the emotional torment his patient experienced before passing into eternity. Ironically, one of his houses near the French Riviera was converted into a printing press for the French Bible Society. God indeed has a sense of humor.

• In contrast, the great evangelist John Wesley declared on his death bed, “The best of all is, God, is with me!” He finished his pilgrimage satisfied and content to be in the presence of his Lord. Death need not haunt us as Christians. If we have committed our lives to Jesus Christ, we have a glorious future awaiting us beyond death’s door.

Ponder on this: If you discover you had only six weeks to live, would you be afraid of the thought of dying? Why or why not? If the Lord does not return first, what would be your last words at the end of your life?

Pursue this: Ask the Lord to give you the grace to love those who do not know Him yet, and the courage to tell them about your Savior.

So, what is a business program doing with talks like these, you may ask? This is the most vital business of them all and even to people in business like you and me. Think about it.

 

 

(Francis Kong presents the highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership Master Class Online on April 14-15, 2021. Develop leadership skills that translate into personal, career, and business growth in the Current Reality and the Post-Covid World. For inquiries and reservations, contact April at +63928-559-1798 or for more information, visit www.levelupleadership.ph)

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