Being prepared and being prepared are two different things.
A person who has come to Christ with sincere repentance and has accepted Him as his personal Savior is prepared for death. Such a person has already passed from death to life. Jesus said:
John 5:24 NASB
Truly, truly, I say to you,
he who hears My word,
and believes Him who sent Me,
has eternal life,
and does not come into judgment,
but has passed out of death into life.
Physical death is then no more than a servant who brings the believer into the presence of his Lord. As Paul says:
Philippians 1:22-23 NASB
²²But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. ²³But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better
After death the believer does not wait for judgment, but for glory, Paradise.
There is a big difference between this principled willingness and the practical “being ready” to die.
This of course applies in the first place to those believers who still have doubts about their salvation. They are like people who have a written invitation to visit the king in their pocket, but doubt whether that paper is enough to get into the palace.
It is understandable that they face death with fear and trembling. Just a simple renunciation of one’s own feelings and opinions and a simple trust in what God says in his Word is the remedy. But even then there remains a difference.
Grace of death
Every man that lives in abundance in this life, is bound to it with many ties.
▪︎ Parents to their children,
▪︎ husband and wife together,
▪︎ everyone at work.
Nowhere in the Scriptures does it say that we have to look for death. Death remains an unnatural thing. In that respect, the children of God have a better expectation, namely the return of the Lord.
Then, without seeing death, they are all taken with glorified bodies into the Father’s house (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). But if the Lord takes a different way with us, and takes us through death before then, then He also wants to give that practical willingness to die.
The old people called it “dying grace.”
So that is not the grace we need as sinners that will save us. It is the grace to let go of everything and face death.
But we do not receive that grace until we need it.
To a missionary ready to go to the interior of Africa, was once asked if he had enough grace to die there for his Lord.
“No,” was his answer, “for I don’t need it now. I now need grace to leave my country and my family, and go to Africa, and the Lord has given it to me.”
A historical example
The following example from the post-war years will further clarify the foregoing.
A believer who had labored for the Lord for many years was on his deathbed. His suffering would last longer than it had seemed, three full months. Relatively at the outset, one of his sons brought to his attention the seriousness of the situation.
The patient listened to him and said: “But the doctor can also be wrong”. “But
if the doctor isn’t mistaken now, then what,” continued the son. “Then it’s all right. I know my sins are forgiven, but I’m not ready to let go of mother and you.”
However, the old people always said: “When the time comes, God gives grace to die.” The days passed and became weeks. Slowly the sick person weakened. One day he called his son who was watching over him, and asked for a note.
To his surprise he saw how his father began to write: “Today fell asleep in his Lord and Savior …..” Slowly the pencil ran across the paper. At regular intervals the patient went into an unconsciousness that lasted from a half to a full minute.
His slipping hand drew long strokes across the paper. When he realized it, he smiled and handed paper and pencil over to his son and said, “I can’t do it anymore, you do it”. Bit by bit he dictated the complete death certificate.
His humor did not leave him; When it came to the place name and date, he said, “I have received the gift of an evangelist from the Lord, but I am not a prophet. You should put the date on it later.” Then he was detached from everything and everyone, and longed for the moment when the Lord would take him to Himself, which happened shortly afterwards.
Website 1: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
Website 2: http://bijbelplaatjes.nl