In a recent article concerning the health care debate, Newsweek contributor Evan Thomas wrote, “At a more basic level, Americans are afraid not just of dying, but of talking and thinking about death. Until Americans learn to contemplate death as more than a scientific challenge to be overcome, our health care system will remain unfixable.”

More than just contributing to the discussion of national insurance, Thomas has addressed some fundamental truths about death in our culture. Not only are people afraid of it, they do not even like to talk or think about it. The separation. The loss. The uncertainty. In fact, society would rather view it on an empirical level, as if one day the sciences will conquer it altogether.

When I read this, I was reminded of the apostle Paul’s comments in Philippians 1:23: “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.” How could he experience such a dilemma and consider death a viable, even enticing, prospect? To this day it remains something that we want to delay or avoid.

The key to Paul’s anticipation lies in the comfort and assurance that he experienced in relationship with Christ. Remember that death tops the great list of things that are unable to separate a believer from God’s love in Romans 8:35-38. Not even laying down this mortal body and being separated from loved ones in this world would affect his eternal destination and connection with the Lord.

Death is more than just a “scientific challenge.” It is a spiritual reality that does not have to hold us in its grip of fear and dread. When Christ died and rose again for our sins, He conquered every bit of death’s power over us (1 Corinthians 15:54-55). Paul’s assurance belongs to every Christian.

What a fantastic opportunity we have as believers in Christ. Not only do we possess an assurance not offered by the world, we have the privilege of sharing it with those around us. Friends and family do not like the topic of death, mainly because they have no answer concerning what follows. However, we have the good news of salvation through God’s only Son. May we do our part to share this wonderful message and pray that they find in salvation the freedom from the fear of death.

Let us who know the Savior live lives that echo the words of Scripture: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).