“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
Talk about a use of the Law and the Gospel. Here Jesus strikes comfort, with fear, into His followers as he lays life and death on the line. There is no doubt to the end of human life. There are only two options. One is eternal separation from God in what we call hell and the other is a life of blessing in God’s presence for eternity in heaven. In the disciples run up to their physical death they need not fear because their eternal home has been prepared for them in heaven. They can live in that security and yet also the reality of the other place. They are not to fear what humankind can do to them. They are to only fear that persecution might lead them to deny Christ.
As we love and fear God the same reality of our end of life comes to us. Shall we remain faithful through all situations and circumstances or shall we fail and end up separated from God for eternity. Thanks to the Holy Spirit we have the assurance that a place has been prepared for us by our Savior and Lord, Jesus. That security is planted for eternity in our hearts and minds by faith. That security brings us faithfulness up to life’s very end. Praise His Name!
Heavenly Father, let nothing get in the way of our witness for You. Give us boldness to confess Christ before all nations. Give us the security of being Your children for eternity by Your Holy Spirit. Increase our faithfulness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.