First, it is important to answer the question, “What is death?” Very simply, death is separation. The Bible speaks of three types of separation: physical, spiritual, and eternal.
- Physical death is the separation of body and soul. “The dust [the body] returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit [the soul] returns to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
- Spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God. “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).
- Eternal death is the separation of the soul from God’s presence and blessings forever in hell. “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ ” (Matthew 25:41).
Evaluate the statement: “This life is hell!”
Why death and what is God’s plan?
The death rate is 100 percent because all people are sinful (Romans 5:12). When Adam and Eve fell into sin, Martin Luther called it a “divine and holy irony. God is good and hates evil. They are evil and hate good.”
Because God did not want Adam and Eve to remain evil and hate good, he cast humankind out of the Garden of Eden so they could not eat from the tree of life and live forever in a sinful condition. God had a better plan. God took the sting of sin out of death by crushing death with Jesus’ resurrection!
For what reasons is the phrase “God has made death a natural part of life” so dangerous?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:20,22,55-58
Respond to someone who says, “You don’t need to believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus.” (Be sure to explain the comfort you have because Jesus is risen!)
What will eternal life be like?
Read Philippians 3:21 and 1 Corinthians 15:35,54. Our resurrected bodies will be imperishable, glorious, powerful, spiritual . . . but what will we look like? We don’t know, but it will be like a Christmas present from people you love. You may not know what it is, but you know it will be good because they love you.
Read Revelation 21:3,4
It is interesting that the Bible often describes what will not be in heaven (i.e., death, mourning, pain, tears, etc.), and then tells the one thing that will be there: Jesus. Why? Because we have no experience to compare with heaven. It is a comfort knowing that the effects of sin will be gone and we will be face-to-face with our Savior!
Agree/disagree: The Christian doesn’t fear death. Explain your answer.
Author: David Scharf
Volume 107, Number 06
Issue: June 2020
- Q&A: Are there different interpretations of the Bible? - 2021/07/27
- Bible study: Interpretation practice - 2021/07/27
- Q&A: How can we be sure the Bible includes what God originally gave us? - 2021/06/29