Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying this type of exercise should be featured as your next small group, seeker-sensitive, ‘party ice breaker.’ For Christians, a sincere dialogue focusing on our responsibility involving our own death is nothing more than a reasonable discussion of discipleship and spiritual stewardship.
Allow me to comfort you with five biblical realities that relate to a Christian’s death and the theological encouragement it is for all of us. My goal is a slight paradox; I pray that you gain great peace and personal encouragement in discussing one of life’s most unpleasant topics: death.
Start by knowing this; death is (was) a punishment that has been dealt with by Jesus Christ. (Genesis 2:17, Romans 8:1).
It’s true that the penalty for our sin is death, but that penalty no longer applies to those who are found in Christ as redeemed believers living by faith and righteousness with a wonderful Savior inside of Graceland. For Christians, death is but a doorway, a simple passing from this (temporal) life into an eternal life delivering us immediately into heaven and eternally with our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
The reality of death was/is unintended, but fully known by God as a by-product of a fallen creation and decaying world (1 Corinthians 15:26).
In God’s sovereign wisdom, He has not applied all of the benefits of Jesus’ redemptive work for us all at once. He has chosen to gradually apply the revelation of His eternal plan, universally redemptive benefits and His righteous realities to us (for us) over time. 
Similarly, as we have recently experienced in Newtown, Connecticut, God has not removed all evil from the world; we still live in a fallen world that includes physical death for believers, our family and our friends. The comfort is that was/is not God’s intention, and He has made provisions to redeem us from this curse as well.He
The most encouraging news is that death, for the Christian, completes our sanctification (Hebrews 12:6, 10-11).
Death is a complement; death actually completes our sanctification in Jesus Christ’s gift of salvation. A sincere grasp of ‘death discipleship’ knows that our salvation has prepared us for our temporal death, and provided for our complete sanctification for the short life “here,” and the eternal life “there” in Jesus Christ. 
Death immediately delivers us to Christ’s presence (1 Peter 2:21).
God allows us to experience a ‘walk up’ to death, versus taking us immediately to heaven. Once we do pass from this life into eternal life, we are immediately with the Lord. Until then, through our lives, unto death, we experience a closer union with Him. And our daily walk (“walk up”) is an example to others of His great love, grace and redemption.
Finally, (and directly important to my ministry as the Chief Development Officer at William Jessup University), death is one of the most amazing stewardship opportunities for the Kingdom of God. Death provides the Christian numerous opportunities for furtherance of the gospel and God’s Kingdom reach (Acts 20:24).
It’s often that I meet with a WJU donor who expresses his desire to plan for a ‘parting gift’ to be delivered to the University upon their death. Many begin their dialogue explaining a deep desire for obedience; nothing more than faithful believers preparing for their death by embracing an opportunity to make a planned gift(s) to the ordained work of William Jessup University.
As one donor recently stated, “After I take care of my family, my loved ones and my church, I want to be praiseworthy, thankful and determinedly evangelical through a stewardship decision that builds the mission of WJU.”
By making planned gifts today from your life’s financial assets and blessings, you can reach, reward and resource the next generation of Christ-centered graduates at William Jessup University. Individual planned gifts from estates, revocable, or irrevocable trusts and direct asset gifts continually resource Jessup’s Christ-centered mission and vision into perpetuity.
This decision is best associated with Jesus’ parable of the talents: understanding that all we own, we have actually received from God … and He has gently instructed us to be determined multiply its value for the purpose of His Kingdom, His glory and Christ’s great, good and amazing gospel.
I encourage you with Paul’s words to the church in Corinth, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
Have you prepared your talents for your immediate loved ones, your church family’s mission and the amazing opportunity that a portion of your life’s stewardship could be used for in building the mission of William Jessup University? If you are interested in discussing such an endeavor, please, give me a personal call so we can determine what the Lord has placed upon your heart and how I can best serve you and your personal stewardship, for your immediate family, your church and – if possible – the continual work and mission of William Jessup University.