In my Christian experience the one topic that is anticipated but not often discussed is death and dying. I have challenged many to ask themselves, “Is this all there is? Is this the true reality of life? You live and you die and that’s it?” You may ask yourself, when is the last time you had a serious talk in the family regarding death? Although death is one of the inescapable realities of our existence, most people never discuss it. Fortunately, the apostle Paul was not afraid to think about death, or to talk about it, and we are much better off with a clearer understanding because of it. Paul first wrote about the subject at Philippi from a prison cell while facing the possibility of execution. He spoke of physical death as not just a possibility, but as being preferable: "For me a desire to depart and be with Christ is far better" (Phil. 1:21). All of Paul's discussions of life and death are with the idea that for the Christian death is not the end, but a new beginning. Paul speaks with confidence when he writes about death.
There is a general agreement among most Christians that death, rather than lessening the person, creates a greater potential for spiritual growth and service while here on this earth. Paul reinforced the idea that there is a continuity between this world and the next by reminding us that, "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ." I believe Paul wanted to remind us that we are responsible to God for our thoughts and our actions, both in this life and in the world to come. We live in a generation when most people are terrified by the act of standing before the judgment seat of Christ. I think that was not Paul's point. He was comforted in that the very Christ whom we serve here on this earth is the One before whom we shall stand in judgment to give an account for our deeds.
Remember Christian, you are not being judged for your sins for they have been removed because of Christ, but you are being rewarded for every good work that was done to Christ's glory. In that judgment He will not strike fear in the hearts of those who have discovered God's love and forgiveness, but relief.