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Enjoying God Blog

At least, that’s the opinion of Irish actor Gabriel Byrne. In the August 19, 2022, issue of The Week Byrne reflects on the pain of his childhood and the sexual abuse he suffered. Here is what Byrne said about his perspective on life and death:

 “One of the things I realize as I get older is that part of reconciling oneself to life is the acceptance that we lose everything: we lose parents, we lose friends. And eventually we get to the stage where we lose ourselves. In the end, we are all losers. You just have to accept that.”

 I wish I could speak with Byrne and tell him that death actually brings us the greatest gain. For the Christian, the loss of relationships in this life, the loss of possessions, and everything else we give up and leave behind is nothing compared with the gain of being with Christ. The Apostle Paul spoke with unshakable confidence when he declared, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).

 Evidently Byrne believes that when we die we simply cease to exist altogether. It is nothing but loss. For Paul, on the other hand, to die is to “be with Christ” and that is “far better” (Phil. 1:23) than anything and everything this life could offer.

 Although I’ve never met Byrne, and don’t anticipate that I ever will, I wish I could tell him that through repentance from sin and faith in Christ there awaits us on the other side the most magnificent and majestic “gain” that anyone could possibly imagine. When we die, we get Christ, the one in whom are found “unsearchable riches” (Eph. 3:8) and “every spiritual blessing” (Eph. 1:3) and “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).

 In the end, we who know Christ Jesus are not “losers” but victorious overcomers who live in hopeful expectation that our eternal future is secure in the presence of him who is altogether beautiful and glorious.

 Gabriel, I’m praying for you.

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