DEATH, the guaranteed conversation stopper! And this not just in society at large but, sadly, for many Christians as well. By looking at the Bible’s real life histories of those facing up to the problems created by death, this little book aims to open up this most important, and frequently neglected, subject. This is done in a way that will help Christians to be assured in their faith in Jesus Christ as the one who has conquered death, and at the same time be an evangelistic tool for them to use in answering questions raised by those seriously enquiring about the Christian faith.
FROM THE AUTHOR
The foundational material of this book hit the airwaves long before it reached the printed page. The congregation of Otford Evangelical Free Church in Kent were the first recipients of these messages in the Autumn of 2005 when I was their pastor. The original nine-part series of evening sermons was then entitled The death of the righteous based on Balaam’s enigmatic wish recorded in Numbers 23: ‘ Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my end be like theirs.’ Such an extraordinary statement excited my curiosity. It seemed to me to be of immense importance. That was what led me to explore the subject more deeply. Exactly what is ‘the death of the righteous?’ My prayer for this book is threefold: Firstly, that it will open up for Christians the subject of death, which is seldom discussed among us, or, then only with trite phrases and slick answers. Secondly, that God would be pleased to use it for the strengthening of believers’ faith against that ‘last enemy’. Thirdly, that it may help those who do not have saving faith in Jesus Christ to see how and why Christians are able to grieve hopefully and not hopelessly, and in so doing would themselves come to join the ranks of those who will die ‘the death of the righteous.’ And I wrote it, too, because I need these truths as much as anyone else. Soli Deo gloria
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Derek Gravatt qualified as a doctor in 1966. After four years in hospital practice he moved to Occupational Medicine. He worked in industry in London for 25 years, becoming a specialist in that discipline. A regular lay preacher since his late teens, in 1994 he accepted the call to be fulltime pastor of Otford Evangelical Free Church in Kent. He served there for over 13 years until his formal retirement in 2007. He has remained active in churches and continues a Bible teaching ministry. He is married to Jennifer, and they have three happily married daughters and seven grandchildren. In addition to his family, he also enjoys DIY, detective novels and films, and crosswords.