What is So Bad About Death
The news reporters tell us of the many deaths around the world. It is always expressed with regret and sadness that this event has happened to someone. When large numbers of people are killed by some destructive force of nature, a sense of gloom seems to emanate from those describing what had happened to them. It is always seen as an awful thing when someone passes away no matter the cause. Is it really tragic when someone dies? Does death really deserve such sadness or seemly loss? Let's think about it for a moment.
What is death? Maybe, that's where we need to begin our thoughts. What do you think it is? Is it the end? Will we ever see that person again? I don't know. Is death so puzzling because we have never been there to know, and we do not know anyone who really has?
First of all let's look at it in this manner. Did you know there is no such thing as cold. Cold is only the opposite of heat. When the temperature reaches 458 degrees below zero, there is no heat. Just as there is no darkness. Darkness only occurs when there is no light. So darkness is the absence of light, just as cold is the absence of heat. Well, death is the absence of life.
Now let's look at the meaning of the word death. Webster in his dictionary says, death is:
- the act of dying; the end of life.
- the state of being dead.
So death is being dead. This means that in death separation has occurred. Life has separated itself from the body of something, in this case, a person. Death is only separation from physical life. When life leaves the body, a dead body is left, but the question is, does a person continue to exist or live?
A plant, or tree dies and that is the end of it as far as that particular plant or tree is concerned. An animal appears to experience the same thing. It has life, but when it dies, that is the end of it. There is a verse that further gives that indication.
Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
But of man, we are told in the Bible, that people are made in the image of God and part of that image in man is a spirit, just as God is a spirit.
And they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2
But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Job 32:8
So man is a spirit living in a fleshly body until the day the flesh ceases to function and dies. At that moment, the spirit of man leaves the body (separated) and goes to either one of two places. The only reliable source of information concerning this is the Holy Scriptures. The Apostle Paul described one place as,
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
2 Corinthians 12:4
Jesus tells us of another place where people go and told of two men in Luke chapter sixteen.
There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Luke 16:19-24
Both of these men died physically, and at death, their spirits left their fleshly body and went to another place. One went to a state of paradise and the other to a place of suffering and torment. So we see that these two men, at two different places were still living and one was happy and the other one was miserable. What made the difference? It was not that one was poor and went to heaven. And not that one was rich and went to hell. No, neither one of these views are correct. The difference was, one was right with God by faith and the other was not. One had lived to please God and the other had lived to please himself. By the way, which way do you live?
Now if death is just separation of life from the body, with the promise of a better life after that, then why all the dread of dying? Why all the medicines, diets, and exercise to prolong life here if it is better somewhere else? Aren't we a little mixed up? Now if a person has not lived as God said to live they will be eternally regretful and sorrowful. It will be a tragic mistake for them to die and not to have prepared for the next life. Yes, we have to prepare for the next life after the flesh life. The promise is that the next life after this life will be much richer, glorious, and wonderful than we can even think about. We will gain so much more than we have ever had here or could ever have. Plus, there won't be any death there, or pain, and the things that were so difficult for us here will be gone. However, again it is only for those who properly prepare.
I think it is true that God has instilled in all of us the desire to live or else we would all soon end life when difficult times come. God wants us in most cases to live a long fruitful life here for him, but he can also, at the proper time, give us the desire to go to our eternal home with him.
So the natural question is, what does one do to prepare? The answer is quite simple, very simple indeed. Nothing! That's right. There is nothing you or I need to do to get ready for living forever in a state of eternal paradise. Everything has already been done that needs to be done. All we have to do is admit our sin to our Creator (in humility) and ask him for forgiveness and trust Jesus Christ as our personal savior. Turn from a life of sin to follow Jesus Christ through the teaching of the Holy Bible.
We do not have to be afraid of death. Jesus has paid our sin debt and now we do not have to be afraid to die. In fact, when a born again believer in Jesus Christ passes from this life they are said to be asleep in the Lord. That does not mean they as a spirit are asleep, but that their body is asleep. They themselves are conscious and alive with the Lord.
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8
I suppose one of the things about death to our loved ones is that we are going to miss them. We do not know how long before we'll see them again, and for some, they may not know for sure they were saved. Now if they have never been saved, it is proper to be sad and moan at the loss of their soul. Because all those who failed to repent of their sins are lost. Everyone is lost, until they trust Jesus as their savior. So if a person dies and they were not saved by trusting Jesus they will be lost forever to an eternity of torment, according to the Bible, not me.
Now many people think we are all going to be judged by how good we are, how many good things we have done, or if our good outweighs the bad things done in our lives. They seem to reason that God, if there is a God, is going to allow them into his holy Heaven. What they fail to see is that the standard for going to heaven is to be as righteous or holy as Jesus Christ, God's Son. If anyone is not that righteous, then they will not be allowed into heaven. Of course, no one is that righteous, so God made it possible that if a lost sinner would accept his son as their savior, he would make them righteous by faith. But lots of people ignore that and continue thinking surely God will allow them into his Heaven.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
So if we are born again believers in Jesus Christ, there is no need to fear death, because death has been defeated by our Lord.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
When these old bodies of ours cease to function and die, that will allow our spirits to break loose to go and be with our Lord. It will be the day when we get the biggest promotion we've ever gotten, for some more than others, according to our faithfulness to him. What a day that will be! But to all the unsaved they must go to the judgment and then to the Lake of Fire to pay forever for their own sins.
Father, thank you for the promise of living forever in your presence. May your Spirit speak to some soul and draw them to the Savior for salvation I ask in Jesus' name. Amen, Preacher