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15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, to say nothing of other things, to constitute the penalty of purgatory, since it is very near to the horror of despair.

Here again Martin Luther shows that at the time of this writing he still believed that there was a place called “purgatory” where we all go prior to getting to heaven or hell. But we see here that he did not see it as a place of punishment and despair. In his later writings he seems to abandon the teaching of purgatory altogether.

So many people still live their lives in “Fear of Death”. They make decisions about what they should do or not do based on whether they feel that decision might somehow lead to their death. They live their whole life trying to avoid death.

The writer of the letters of John says that “Perfect love casts out fear”! If we know that perfect love of Christ we do not fear death. That does not mean that we go looking for death or that we hope for death, but we do not fear it. There is a big difference in how an unbeliever faces their finale hours and how a true believer faces the end of their life. I saw a bumper sticker one time that said, “No Jesus, No Peace! Know Jesus, Know Peace!” That sums it up, if we trust in the death and resurrection of Jesus as our personal savior then we have a peace that the nothing can take away, not even death. Without that we can only fear.

Prayer

Dear God, please take away my fear! Let me live in the joy of Your peace each and every day of my life. Let Your peace comfort me even at the end of my days. Keep my always in Your grace and mercy. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.