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Death and Birth

(by Lou Gentry)

Pastor Osborne has touched upon the subject of death during the past several Sunday morning sermons. First, he preached on the death of Lazarus and his resuscitation by Jesus. Secondly, he preached about how the Jewish leaders had begun to plot the death of Jesus. Thirdly, as he began a series of sermons on the last week of Jesus’ life before the crucifixion, he used an illustration of a little boy dying of cancer as his mother held him in her arms.

All of these references triggered a recall in my feeble memory of a passage in the last chapter of a book I had read, Foundations of the Faith: The Doctrines Baptists Believe, by Dr. Roy T. Edgemon. The title of the last chapter is “God’s Final Victory.” Here Dr. Edgemon offers a beautiful comparison of dying and being born which I believe all Christians will find comforting:
“Death for the Christian has been compared to birth. When the infant is in the process of being born into this earthly life, he resists. The womb is a comfortable environment; it is the only one he has known and he does not want to leave it. The pain of birth causes him to resist. But when he enters the world outside the womb, he discovers a much larger world, so large that he spends his life learning about it. Love and joy and hundreds of other emotions enrich his existence.

Christians may dread the experience of death, for it is painful and the world beyond is unknown. The womb of this world is comfortable, and it is the world they know. Yet when Christians pass through the womb of death, they are born into a new world that is much greater than earthly life–just as earthly life proved to be greater than life in the mother’s womb. Eternal life with the Master, absence of sin and sorrow, love and joy, and thousands of other experiences await those who die in the Lord.”