In the forty years of my ministry I have seen many people approach death and have seen some die.
Some, who knew Christ as their Savior, were ready, even eager, to go to be with Him. Some passed from this scene with songs or words of praise on their lips. Others, who had failed to prepare, died in mortal fear, not merely of death, but of what lies beyond.
These things do not always run true to form, however, for I have also seen the most hardened unbelievers go out of this life joking and seemingly unafraid, while, on the other hand, I have seen sincere Christians cringe with fear at the approach of death. These human reactions did not change the fact that the unbelievers had reason to be afraid, while the believers need not have feared.
The Word of God tells us that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27,28). It is the “after this” that makes men so afraid to die. They fear the truth of Rom. 14:12, that “every one of us shall give account of Himself to God.”
But wait: we did not quote all of Heb. 9:27,28. The full passage reads as follows:
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time apart from sin, unto salvation.”
This can mean only one thing: that Christ died for us and bore the judgment for our sins, the “second death.” This is why Heb. 2:9-15 declares that “by the grace of God” Christ “tasted death for every man… that through [His] death He might… deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” source