Death

<<extinction of life, passing away>>

The termination of life in its current form. In many situations, this leads into a more glorious new form. From the death of a seed, life comes. A single seed has the potential to produce an abundant harvest (Jn 12:24). Christ’s death and resurrection seem foolish to those who don’t believe yet for a Christian it is wonderful and is the means whereby we and millions of others are brought into right relationship with God (Jn 1:12; 1 Cor 1:18). Jesus death and resurrection also destroyed Satan’s claim to hold the power of death (Heb 2:14).

Physical death

“The Lord gives [life] and He also takes away” (Job 1:21). All forms of life on this earth will die at some stage, for there is “A time to be born and a time to die” (Eccl 3:2). No one knows the day of his or her death, although there is an appointed time to die for our times are in His hands (Job 14:5; Ps 31:15, 139:16). Those who do not value life override His design by suicide or euthanasia.  However, our lifestyle has an undeniable impact on the quality of life experienced as well as the manner, timing and place of death. The ending of life as we know it is not final for humanity. If you are a Christian, the Lord is with you always even in the time of death, and you will come into a much greater life (Ps 23:4, Prov 12:28; 1 Cor 2:9; Heb 13:5).

Becoming a Christian and thereby possessing eternal life in Christ does not cancel out physical death.   When Jesus said, “If a man keep my Word he will never see death”, He was not saying such a person would not physically pass from this life as we understand it, rather in the all-important next life they would experience eternal life as opposed to

      To die without knowing Jesus                      results in eternal death

eternal damnation (Jn 8:51). It is appointed for man to die once and then face judgement (Heb 9:27). Physical death is the inescapable route, the gateway whereby everyone passes from this life to the next. All people are raised again; some to everlasting life, the remainder to everlasting damnation (Dan 12:2; Jn 5:29; Act 24:15). The critical thing is receiving Christ as Saviour and being forgiven of the sin which would otherwise doom us to an eternity of torment (Mt 25:46; Jn 3:16,18,36). The choice is ours with the options life or death, blessings or curses (Deut 30:19).

No second chance is offered after death, nor is the body ‘recycled’ through re-incarnation. After death a believer’s soul/spirit is taken to heaven while the physical body returns to dust till it is resurrected (Gen 3:19; Eccl 12:7; Jn 6:44,54; 2 Cor 5:6-8; Phil 1:23). Jesus declared to the repentant thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise” – regarded as a temporary state of the blessed (Lk 23:43).  At the resurrection, the body is resurrected, glorified and reunited with the soul and spirit to spend eternity in the new heavens and new earth, forever in the presence of God (1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-17).

Hades or Sheol are terms for the unseen temporary state where the soul/spirit of the wicked dead are similarly awaiting resurrection, judgement and future punishment in the lake of fire (Mt 10:28, 18:9; Mk 9:43-48; Rev 20:11-15). In the story of the rich man and the beggar Jesus indicated the righteous spirits go to a place of comfort while even this temporary realm for the unrighteous is not a pleasant existence (Lk 16:19-31).

We should enjoy life, yet we must embrace death when it comes, for it certainly will. “When David had served God’s purpose he died” (Act 13:36). While factual, this statement was also a testimony about his life. Am I making my life count for the Kingdom of God?

The natural human tendency is to cling to life, yet for those terminally ill and even unconscious with a poor quality of life a prayer of release spoken over them frees their spirit allowing death to occur. 

It is natural to grieve over the death of a loved one, yet life can and must go on as we adapt to life without them.  We can honour their memory by living to our greatest potential however we are not to revere them more highly than is appropriate (ancestor worship) or try and contact the spirits of those who have died through clairvoyance (Deut 18:10-13).

Spiritual death

God said to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, “The day you eat of the forbidden fruit you will die” – they did not die physically on the day they disobeyed, however, from that time all humanity has been separated from God because of the inherited sin nature which causes us to sin (Gen 2:17; Rom 5:12).  The Bible declares, “The soul that sins will die…as the wages of sin is death” (Ezek 18:4,20; Rom 6:23). 

The serious consequences of sin, described as death, punishment, being lost, suffering eternally with continuing consciousness in the lake of fire is called the second death and will be experienced by the unsaved, yet it will have no power over the believer – they are free from the law of sin and death (Rom 8:2, Rev 2:11, 20:6,14).  Because of sin, we were doomed to the sentence of a second death. However, by turning to Christ His sacrifice as our substitute frees us from that fate, and we experience life when we believe in Him – “we have passed from death to life” (Jn 5:24; 1 Cor 15:21,22; 1 Jn 3:14).  Christ died, the just for the unjust (1 Pet 3:18). It means victory over death for His followers, so it becomes more than sleep (1 Thes 4:14).

Either we can exchange our self-centred, sinful lives for the eternal life secured for us by Christ (being yielded and obedient to His will), or insist on keeping our lives (living in disobedience and rebellion) and lose out ultimately (Lk 9:24).

God rejoices in the death of the saints but has no joy in the death of the unsaved (Ps 116:15; Ezek 18:23, 33:11).

On earth non-believers are in a state of spiritual death until they choose Christ, experience salvation and are made alive in Christ (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13).

Death of a vision or dream

God often allows this to occur because we put a ‘baby’ before Him (something conceived in us that becomes a god); even though it may be a very commendable desire. He permits it to break the power of what we hold dear. If it is truly ‘of God’, He will resurrect it in supernatural power. Moses was raised up to set the Israelite people free yet sent into the desert to die to his own abilities and way of achieving his calling. Only then was he reliant enough on God for the challenge. Do not cast away your confidence and love for God when this happens (Heb 10:35). Allow Him to refine your spirit. David kept a right heart attitude, and although he was anointed to be the future king and was being hunted by Saul, he did not take matters into his own hands and force his advancement to this position when he had the opportunity to kill Saul.

Death to self 

This is termed self-denial, where the self-life or carnal nature is not controlling us, but to varying degrees has been crucified or rendered in-operative and we are more in tune with the giver of life. When we are dead to self, we are most fully alive and of value to our fellow man. The Christian walk is described as being ‘alive in Christ’ and ‘dead to self’, its wants and rights (Rom 6:11).

We do not literally nail our bodies to a cross to show Him our love. Nevertheless, we must ‘crucify’ every passion and pursuit that keeps us from a burning devotion to Him. “He must increase, I must

    Do I die daily to sin?

decrease” (Jn 3:30). Jesus is now our reference and focal point, He should be on the throne of our lives as LORD. We should be His servants, attentive to His voice, quickly and fully obeying His requests. We are not our own, we have been bought with a price (1 Cor 6:20).  Jesus died that we might live, we die to self that we might live for Him. Instead of grumbling because you they are not being ministered to, view it as a God permitted occasion to deny the carnal nature.

Believer’s baptism is the symbolic demonstration of ‘reckoning the old fleshly nature being unresponsive to sin, yet being spiritually alert and alive to the divine nature’ (Rom 6:4; Gal 2:20; Col 2:20, 3:3,5).

See also: abortion, baptism (water), body/soul/spirit, burial, cross, dreams (shattered), eternal damnation, eternal life, euthanasia, grief, paradise, purgatory, reincarnation, resurrection, second chance, Sheol, suicide.

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