Pastor Mike is on a series in his preaching, “the top 10 fears of our life”, and how to manage them. Tonight he talked about our fear of death, and he will preach the same sermon tomorrow at both services. As he was preaching tonight I was thinking of people who I knew who had come close to dying either by sickness or accident and the wide range of reactions to that near death experience that they had. Some became almost hysterical as they faced death obviously in great fear, and then I thought of my daughter Sally and her husband Aaron who live in Hawaii who recently got a phone message from the state government that they were about to be hit with a nuclear missile and that this wasn’t a drill. It turned out to be a false alarm, but when Sally and Aaron read the warning on their cell phones they said that they felt a great peace as they faced their immanent death. I think a lot now about my death because I am getting closer to it at almost 70 years of age. I imagine what I will feel as I leave my fleshly body and head to heaven. I wonder what the first thing I will see will be. I wonder what the first words will be that Jesus speaks to me. I wonder what my first words will be and who I will say them to. I wonder how long I will be there before I see my Dad. I don’t fear death and I am looking forward to the new body and adventures, but there is the nervousness of the unknown, sort of like the first time I went sky diving. I know people who believe that when we die it is over, we cease to exist, we just turn to dirt and that is all there is. That seems so sad to me, I can’t imagine that I would be motivated to do much that required sacrifice or effort, I think I would just turn into a melancholy introvert. But an even worse scenario would be the person who acknowledges that, yes, there is life after death, but I have no clue what it will be like, where I am going, or if there is such a thing as hell will I be in it? Now, that would result in great fear if that were me. But the cool thing is that it is not me, I have an absolute assurance in my salvation and my eternal home.