The greatest preparation for death is to live a full life here on earth. For the Christian, fullness of life is found in loving God and loving our neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40). Some people die without warning, for them the only preparation for their death is the content and character of their lives.
However, many people are aware that they are coming closer to death. This could be because of illness, advanced age, or violent circumstances. When we know that death is coming we should prepare ourselves as best we can.
This involves four basic steps:
#1 Trust in Christ. Be assured that you have professed belief in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Recognize it's His death and His resurrection that gives you the guarantee of your resurrection to eternal life. It’s not unusual for people to have attended church their whole life yet never made a personal commitment to Christ.
#2 Wrap Your Earthly Affairs. When you know that death is coming soon it’s important to take care of your earthly affairs. Hopefully, you’ll have already written a will and made your wishes known to your family. But at this point you need to finalize these matters so you can focus on the final transition from this life to the next.
#3. Make your Confession. It’s important as death approaches to come clean with God, with friends and family. Seek to make amends where possible. Make sure to tell the people in your life that you love them. Also, many Christians have benefited from making a final private confession with their parish priest. This is a way of spiritually cleaning house before you enter into the fuller presence of God.
#4. Receive Holy Communion and Prayer on a regular basis. Plus seek encouragement from your pastor, church, and family. Seek to accept that your time here on earth is done, and that you are now moving on to the nearer presence of God. Relish the time you have remaining. Make a point to bless others each day.
Christians believe that Jesus overcame death through His life, death and resurrection. This is a great consolation for the believer (for more on what happens when you die click here). It does not, however, remove the necessity to prepare ourselves for death.