Melvin Tinker, in an article entitled, “Does The Christian View Of Death Need Reviving?” (Churchman 107/3 1993) – not all of which I agree with – draws a startling contrast between the deaths of two great men.
“A month before his death, Jean Paul Sartre wrote these words in his journal:
‘With this third world war which might break out one day, with this wretched gathering which our planet now is, despair returns to tempt me. The idea that there is no purpose, only petty personal ends for which we fight! We make little revolutions, but there is no goal for mankind. One cannot think of such things. They tempt you incessantly, especially if you are old . . . the world seems ugly, bad and without hope. There, that’s the cry of despair of an old man who will die in despair. But that’s exactly what I resist. I know I shall die in hope. But that hope needs a foundation.’
How true! But what a contrast to the words of another ‘old man’ about to die:
‘For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award me on that day—and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing’ (2 Tim. 4:6-8).
Here is hope based upon a solid foundation indeed.”
I would add that that faith was founded upon Christ and the resurrection, not the immortality of the soul.