That is a question asked of me some time ago, and at the time I didn’t know how to answer it. Since then I’ve been able to give that question a proper answer. Any comments?
@islander Great question We die because of sin, which leads to death. Originally, God made us to live forever in the Garden of Eden, but as a result of disobedience to God Adam and Eve were cast out and subject to death, as are all men now. Life is in God and separation from God inevitably leads to death because He is the source of life.
Jesus came to set us free from sin and, as a result, from the power of death.
Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Cor 15:22 -Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.
Hebrews 2:14-15 - Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the Devil— 15 and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.
Hi Sean, thank you for your quick reply, and a most encouraging one at that. Thank you. I mentioned it was a question I was asked a while back, and I thought it would be a good topic for discussion. I wrote out what research I had done, and I’m pleased to know what I wrote is basically what you said. Glad I’m on the right track. Blessings your way.
Scientifically speaking, it is believed that an ever-building number of free radicals in the body eventually leads to a breakdown in the body’s ability to reproduce healthy cells. However, even people who live well - get lots of exercise, drink plenty of water and eat healthy food - still die. Therefore, there is obviously something beyond the physical that leads to the death of, not only humans, but all things that live upon the Earth.
Sean O’s response is, generally, the correct answer. It is sin that has earned us death as the just wage of our works. But, thinking deeper, is it really death that you fear? Jesus assures us that death is but a sleep - a temporary condition that can be remedied by God. So, I would say it is not OUR death that worries us so much, but the death of those whom we love. We mourn because they pass from OUR lives and take their companionship with them. That is the true cost of our wages - separation. This is what Jesus, Himself feared as the time of His crucifixion drew close, the separation He knew was coming. “My Father, why have You forsaken me?” As Jesus bore the weight of all the world’s sin - MY sin - He was separated from the Holy presence of His Father, from whom He had never known anything but perfect, eternal connection.
Frankly, I do not see death as a punishment from God for our sins, but His tangible mercy. Would you really want to continue living for hundreds of years in this awful state? Growing more and more decrepit, all the while being forced to witness the ever-growing horrors of Babylon! No, thank you. I see death only as the outworking of God’s merciful character, for us and for the world. Consider that Adam and all of the first people lived to almost a thousand years! But, after the Flood, God, foreseeing the inevitable growth of the cancer of sin, graciously alleviated the burden of Man by reducing the span of his sentence to just 120 years.
I would rather live a single day in the presence of God than to live a thousand healthy years as a king in this world. Jesus’ gift to us is not just life, but a more abundant life - a life truly worth living - with Him. Finally to know, even as I am known!
Hello Merlin, your comment has blessed me to no end. Very informative and precise. Thank you ever so much. I too wouldn’t want to live forever in this world in the condition it’s in. Rather I’m looking for the day I can leave this earth suit and go home to my Lord. Thank you and SeanO for your input.
@Merlin, you make an interesting observation about death as God’s “tangible mercy.” I agree, and think that one of the difficult lessons God has taught from the beginning is that the only way to deal with sin is to kill it. The law of sin and death is our assurance that God will not allow sin to ruin His Creation forever.
There is an end, and thankfully God, through the death of Christ, has provided a way for sin to be put to death in us so that the Second Death has no power over His people.
You have blessed me, brother! I am so glad that anything that comes from a poor wretch like me could be of any encouragement to a child of God. I’m looking forward to meeting you there my friend!
God bless you!
I was just talking with my daughter last night about this. As Paul said, we must put to death “the old man of sin”. For how else “can a man enter again into his mother’s womb and be born again?” I am sorry that the old man returns as often as he does, but I am cut to my soul and “gladdened” every time Jesus accepts me back once he is dead. Praise God! Jesus has drunk the cup of the Wrath of God for our sake!
God bless you, Dennis
Thanks for your reply, @Merlin. It came as an encouragement when I needed it. And your play on my name brought a smile. Lord bless.