Years ago a man of God was asked to preach at the funeral of a young soldier whose parents were unsaved.
During the course of his message the preacher sought to impress upon his hearers the basic fact that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom.6:23).
This greatly upset the parents. After the service they complained: “This is embarrassing. Our boy was not a sinner.”
The truth was that shortly before his death this young man had done what every true, born-again Christian has done. He acknowledged himself to be a lost sinner and, trusting Christ as his Savior, had been so gloriously saved that his parents were mystified that he could be so happy in the face of death.
The simplest believer in Christ understands all this. He knows that for the “old man” the death of the body is indeed a “dishonorable discharge” for laws broken, orders disobeyed, responsibilities unmet, and trusts betrayed. But for the “new man the death of the body is the vestibule through which he is ushered into the blessed presence of “the Captain of our Salvation,” the One who “by the grace of God tasted death for every man” that He might “bring many sons unto glory” (See Hebrews 2:9,10).
This is why we read in Hebrews 2:14,15:
“Forasmuch, then, as the children [of Adam] were partakers of flesh and blood, He [Christ] also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
“And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
No wonder St. Paul’s simple message of salvation was:
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).