Tuesday, May 23, 2023

I Cannot Die

"That kind of rock-solid confidence in the face of death has emboldened missionaries for two thousand years. The truth of God's providence has been the stabilizing power for thousands of Christ's emissaries. Believing that God holds life and death and always works mercy for his children has freed them to embrace the dangers of the mission and has sustained them when death came. Henry Martyn, missionary to India and Persia, who died when he was thirty-one (on October 16, 1812), wrote in his journal in January 1812: 'To all appearance, the present year will be more perilous than any I have seen; but if I live to complete the Persian New Testament, my life after that will be of less importance. But whether life or death be mine, may Christ be magnified in me! If he has work for me to do, I cannot die.' This has often been paraphrased as 'I am immortal till Christ's work for me to do is done.'" (John Piper, Providence [Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2020], approximate Kindle location 5904)


  1. I just finished a hardcopy book that's also freely online titled, Annihilationism Not of he Bible by Nathan Dow George. Here's a quote that's kind of related to the above quote.

    "Materialism affords no comfort in death. No Christian was ever made happy in dying, by the thought that he was to be a blank for ages to come. If the presence of the Saviour is dear to the Christian here, what must be the influence upon his feelings, when about to die, of the doctrine which teaches that his intercourse with his Saviour must be broken off for thousands of years by non-existence? The belief of a continuous existence, and an immediate increase of bliss after death, has nerved up Christians, in all ages of the church, to deeds of the noblest heroism, so confident were they that nothing could possibly sever the union existing between them and their God. (Sec. LVIII.) Volumes might be filled with the joyful dying words, left upon record, of eminent Christian men and women who are but the representatives of millions. If space allowed, we would give extracts from the dying sayings of a score or two before us; among them such lights in the church as Bede, Knox, Bruce, Eliot, Hervey, Thorp, Doddridge, Wesley, Toplady, Simpson, Payson, Scott, Watson, Buchanan, Martin, Fisk, Cowgill, Mrs. Mortimer, Mrs. Fletcher, Mrs. Graham, and others. These have all left their dying testimonies, many of them in language of exultant joy, in prospect of immediate bliss, such in degree as they had never experienced here. This glorious hope has been enjoyed by the Christian Church generally. But when was it ever known that a materialist was made joyful by the thought of going into the dark abyss of non-being for an unknown period, unless he were some vile, unhappy wretch, who had nothing to expect but hell if his existence should be continued? Be it known, too, that the millions of happy Christians we have named were all under a delusion, if we admit the truth of materialism; and, furthermore, that the doctrine gives no comfort in death......."- Nathan Dow George, Annihilationism Not of the Bible, pages 268-269

  2. Hezekiah asked God for 15 more years because he didn't have a son as heir (Manasseh was 12 when Hezekiah died). It's not always good to have a longer life if it results in more evil. Paul said "better" to depart and be with the Lord than to focus on this life. Of course Christians can't die until God has tested and taught them individually all that He wanted. I think the walk of Christians should be with God instead of thinking I can't die until I do everything that God wants me to do. It's a distinct difference.