LISTEN: Losing the Christian Death, Part 3 (Preparing for the Inevitable #13 with Daniel Whyte III)

This podcast will help you get ready to face the inevitable unpleasant things that will happen in your life — things like trouble, suffering, sickness, and death — the death of people you love and your own death.

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

The Bible says in Ezekiel 18:32: “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”

The featured quote for this episode is from Dean Koontz. He said, “Because God is never cruel, there is a reason for all things. We must know the pain of loss; because if we never knew it, we would have no compassion for others, and we would become monsters of self-regard, creatures of unalloyed self-interest. The terrible pain of loss teaches humility to our prideful kind, has the power to soften uncaring hearts, to make a better person of a good one.”

Our topic for today is titled “Losing the Christian Death (Part 3)” from the book, “The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come” by Rob Moll.

— We Have No Christian Dying

There is an untapped reservoir of Christian belief about dying. Christians are people who claim to worship and have the life of the risen Son of God. A renewed practice of Christian dying should affect not just the dying and those caring for them, but will fundamentally affect church life and individual spiritual lives from beginning to end.

For example, I have prayed in church and in prayer groups for the sick and the terminally ill. I’ve always felt obliged to pray for a miracle, that God would use the opportunity of a person’s severe illness to disrupt the apparent laws of nature and display his power. But, eventually, praying this way became discouraging because those miracles never came. Slowly, I began—I thought—to pray more realistically. Instead of asking for a miracle, I prayed simply for grace and comfort from the Holy Spirit for the patient and his or her family. I prayed for wisdom when deciding among treatment options, and I prayed for those treatments to be effective. When they were not, I fell silent.

Yet my so-called realistic prayers were not really better prayers. I never prayed that someone would die well, as a faithful Christian. I never prayed that a death would bring about an opportunity for reconciliation and completion in relationships, or for God to bring something good from this evil. I never asked God to smooth someone’s entrance to eternity. I know better now. “The idea that deaths can be inspirational—even redemptive—almost never enters modern conversations about death,” writes John Fanestil, “yet this understanding lies at the core of the Christian gospel.”

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.