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What does it look like for a believer to face the difficult reality of death through the ultimate reality of Christ? How do we live and die like we really believe the gospel is true? Readers at every stage of life will find comfort and hope as well as challenge in this collection of twenty-two short meditations drawn from the sermons and writings of classic and contemporary pastors and theologians ranging from Abraham Kuyper, Martin Luther, and Jonathan Edwards to Tim Keller, J. I. Packer, and John Piper.
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About the Author
Nancy Guthrie teaches the Bible at her church, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tennessee, and at conferences worldwide. She and her husband, David, are the cohosts of the GriefShare video series used in more than 10,000 churches nationwide and also host Respite Retreats for couples who have experienced the death of a child. Guthrie is also the host of Help Me Teach the Bible, a podcast of the Gospel Coalition.
John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God; Don’t Waste Your Life; This Momentary Marriage; A Peculiar Glory; and Reading the Bible Supernaturally.
Randy Alcorn (MA, Multnomah University) is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries and a New York Times best-selling author of over fifty books. His books have sold over nine million copies and been translated into nearly seventy languages. Alcorn resides in Gresham, Oregon, with his wife, Nanci. They have two married daughters and five grandsons.
Timothy J. Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. He is the best-selling author of The Prodigal God and The Reason for God.
Joni Eareckson Tada is founder and CEO of the Joni and Friends International Disability Center, which ministers to thousands of disabled people and their families through programs of practical encouragement and spiritual help. She is also an artist and the author of numerous best-selling books such as Joni; Heaven: Your Real Home; and When God Weeps.
J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.
Michael Horton (PhD, University of Coventry and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford) is the J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary in California. In addition to being the author of many popular and academic books, he is also the editor in chief of Modern Reformation magazine, a host of the White Horse Inn radio broadcast, and a minister in the United Reformed Churches.
R. C. Sproul (Drs, Free University of Amsterdam) is founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries and copastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida. He can be heard around the world on the radio program Renewing Your Mind. He is also chancellor of Reformation Bible College, executive editor of Tabletalk magazine, and the author of more than one hundred books, including The Holiness of God; Faith Alone; and Everyone’s a Theologian.
JOHN CALVIN (1509–1564) was perhaps the preeminent theologian of the Reformation. Known best for his Institutes of the Christian Religion, he also wrote landmark expositions on most of the books in the Bible.
Martin Luther (1483–1546) was professor of Bible at Wittenberg University, and many of his expositions came out of his classroom. Considered one of the most powerful discussions of justification by faith written by any of the Reformers, this commentary on Galatians has had a profound impact on many through the centuries.
JONATHAN EDWARDS (1703–1758) was a pastor, theologian, and missionary. He is generally considered the greatest American theologian. A prolific writer, Edwards is known for his many sermons, including "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", and his classic Treatise Concerning Religious Affections. Edwards was appointed president of the College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton University) shortly before his death.
John Owen (1616–1683) was vice chancellor of Oxford University and served as advisor and chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. Among the most learned and active of the Puritans in seventeenth-century Europe, and known as the "theologian's theologian," he was accomplished both in doctrine and practical theology.
B. B Warfield was professor of theology at Princeton Seminary from 1887 to 1921.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981), minister of Westminster Chapel in London for 30 years, was one of the foremost preachers of his day. His many books have brought profound spiritual encouragement to millions around the world.
CHARLES H. SPURGEON (1834–1892) was an English Baptist pastor at New Park Street Chapel, London (which later became the Metropolitan Tabernacle), for thirty-eight years. As the nineteenth century's most prolific preacher and writer, his ministry legacy continues today.
RICHARD BAXTER (1615-1691) was a leading English Puritan churchman, theologian, and writer. He authored nearly 170 works, including the 1,143-page Christian Directory, Methodus Theologiae Christianae, and Catholic Theology.
Table of Contents
Part 1 A Reality that will not Be Denied
1 Only When You Know How to Die Can You Know How to Live J. I. Packer 15
2 Death's Sting Is Removed but Its Bite Remains Michael S. Horton 19
3 He Called Death Sweet Names John Piper 27
4 Not of the World Martyn Lloyd-Jones 35
5 Is Christ Our Sickness-Bearer? B. B. Warfield 39
6 Our Faith Is in God, Not in Healing Joseph Bayly 45
Part 2 An Aim that Keeps Me Pressing On
7 Finishing with Few Regrets Randy Alcorn 55
8 My Father Taught Me How to Die R. C. Sproul 63
9 Spiritual Light Shining from Your Deathbed Abraham Kuyper 67
10 A Witness in the Way We Die John Eaves 71
11 Sickness: The Soul's Undressing Jeremy Taylor 79
Part 3 A Hope that Saves Me from Despair
12 Rubbing Hope into the Reality of Death Timothy Keller 87
13 Hope Is a Glorious Grace John Owen 93
14 Directions for a Peaceful Departure Richard Baxter 97
15 What More Should God Do to Persuade You to Accept Death Willingly? Martin Luther 105
16 Comfort against Fears of the Dying Hour Thomas Boston 111
Part 4 A Future that will not Disappoint
17 Suffering Hurries the Heart toward Heaven Joni Eareckson Tada 121
18 To Despise This Present Life John Calvin 125
19 The Day of a Godly Man's Death Jonathan Edwards 131
20 Let Us Say in Dying, "Lord Jesus, Receive My Spirit" R. L. Dabney 139
21 Those Who Die Daily Die Easily Charles Haddon Spurgeon 147
22 God Reserves the Best for the Last Richard Sibbes 155