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I write this article the day after the untimely and tragic death of well-known Australian naturalist, Steve Irwin; killed by the sting in the tail of a stingray he was filming.
Steve was well known and has been mourned by thousands, but my mind was drawn to the millions, unknown by all but immediate family, who die each day and go to an eternity without Christ.
Life itself has a sting in the tail. It's called death. It strikes, often without warning, and sooner or later, it strikes everyone. You don't have to go chasing danger in order to encounter death. It will come to you. But the real sting of death is sin that separates us from God in this life and for eternity. "For sin is the sting that results in death..." (1 Cor 15:56).
That's why the Gospel is such good news. In Christ, the sting of death is drawn. Paul explains, "Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life" (1 Cor 15:22 NLT). He then exalts... "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? ... How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (vs.55ff).
Death is horrible. It brings pain and loss and separation, but without Christ, it is a tragedy of eternal proportions.
Let us commit ourselves again to the task of making the Good News of Jesus Christ known to all both near and far, so that when they and we face death, it will be faced with the assurance of the victory of Christ and the knowledge that it is the gateway to eternal life with Christ.
Yours in the peace of God.
National Director, GRN Australia.