Preach, Die, and Be Forgotten
I am not the originator of this sentiment, but I have meditated on it often. The inevitability of death has generated the quest, in some, to leave their mark on the world (Gen 11). Men want to make a name for themselves and then to leave a legacy. It is natural for selfish sinners to have their names and reputations live on in infamy. To be forgotten is a sort of death in itself.
Christians are peculiar people. The world does not understand us, even as it did not understand Jesus, our Master. Our ways are different from the ways of the world. Given the Spirit of Christ, the born again have a new life that is averse to the world’s mantra, “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.”
Preach, die, and be forgotten is one Christian mantra that serves as a Christian philosophy for life and ministry. Followers of Jesus do not live for themselves. We live for Christ, who died for us. In His death upon the cross, Jesus secured eternal life for His beloved bride, His church, the Israel of God, the sheep of His pasture.
Men fear death because they fear the unknown. For the adopted child of God, in the school room of the Holy Spirit, the knowledge of Jesus Christ includes the knowledge of life beyond death of the physical body. In other words, Christians have hope beyond the grave. This hope is based on the promises of God found in the Bible. The believer/reader of God’s Word knows the reliability of the God who has spoken. It is written, and we believe because His Spirit has given us faith.
People of the world are of the world and for the world. They do not believe the Bible’s testimony of the world’s future under the judgment of God (2 Pet 3:10–12). The natural man loves the world’s system, too. As a sinner, by nature (Eph 2:3), he loves darkness because his deeds are evil (Jn 3:19). There is enough preaching in the world for sinners to know that it is appointed for men to die, once, and then comes God’s judgment of each one (Heb 9:27; Rev 20:11).
In proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Spirit-filled Christian illumines his neighbor to the consequences of sin (death and judgment) and warns others of the wrath of God to come in eternity. All sons of Adam die (Rom 6:23; Heb 9:27), but only in Christ, the second Adam, shall some live following the resurrection (Jn 5:28–29; 1 Cor 15:22).
All people are conceived in sin (Ps 51:5) practice sin (lawlessness — 1 Jn 3:4), but not all die in their sins. The exception to the rule of the second death (eternal punishment, body and soul, in the torment of fiery hell in the lake of fire) are those whose sins have been forgiven, by the precious blood of Christ shed on the cross (Mt 26:28; Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 1:19).
The Christian’s faith, given to her as a gift of God’s indwelling Spirit, is a trust in the saving power of Christ’s death that produced the necessary blood sacrifice for sins (Lev 16; Heb 9:22). Jesus bore our sins in His body on the Roman cross (1 Pet 2:24). As the Lamb of God, Jesus took the place of punishment for God’s chosen people, appeasing the wrath of God directed at us while we were yet sinners (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10). Christ died for our sins (1 Cor 15:3).
Because there is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1), death has lost its sting for the believer in Jesus (1 Cor 15:55–57), who now desires to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better than being in this broken tent, in a hopeless world of futility (Eccl 1:2; Phil 1:23). Thus, with no fear in death, nor fear of being forgotten by the Lord, the magnificent task of the Christian is to live for Christ, until her body of sin and death expires.
We preach Christ crucified because He is our life — new (Rom 6:14), abundant (Jn 10:10), and eternal (1 Jn 2:25). By the indwelling Spirit of Christ, the token and pledge of God’s love (Rom 5:5; 2 Cor 5:5), the life of God manifests in the soul of those made alive and placed into inseparable union with God in Christ. Nothing can separate the beloved child of God from her Father’s love, from Christ’s love, nor from the Spirit’s love, who will never leave nor forsake her (Rom 8:31–35; Heb 13:5).
With great boldness, I declare to you, my dear reader, the excellencies of Christ, who is the Gospel of our salvation. There is no other way to be right before God, in His just judgment of guilty sinners. You must be positioned in Christ, our shelter from the storm of God’s just wrath against sinners, executed on the day of your death. For on that day soon coming, you will meet King Jesus Christ, the righteous judge of all the living and the dead. You will either fall into His everlasting arms or fall into the dark pit of the second death to be forgotten for all eternity.
To shed this body of death and be forgotten by this lost and dying world is the Christian’s delight, for we know who we have believed, and we are convinced He is willing and able to keep us for Himself…from this day forth, in death, and forevermore. And now you know why we preach Him and no other.
Spokane Valley, Washington
May 1, 2022