- From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove
What does God say about death?
Gen 2:7, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” God turned dust into a living soul by breathing His Spirit into man. When the body dies the first death, Eccl 12:7, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it”, the spirit returns to God. God tells us not to fear the first death, Matt 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Only God can kill the soul.
Eccl 9:5, “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” We all know we will die that first death, but those who have already died no longer have a consciousness, they are asleep, Matt 9:24, “He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.” But, God has provided a way for those who choose to believe in Him, Jn 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” and Jn 11:25, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”
Jn 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Even though we die that first death, Jesus is preparing a place for us. Jn 5:28-29, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” When He returns He will resurrect all of us and those who have chosen to believe in Him will live for all eternity in one of those mansions He has prepared for us.
1 Cor 15:51-54, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” Jesus is telling us that He will defeat death and resurrect some of us to eternal life, Dan 12:2, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
Heb 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” We will decide our own final judgment and our decision will determine whether we will have eternal life or this life alone, Rev 14:13 “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” If we choose to follow God’s calling and the peace, joy and goodness He offers, He will be faithful to give us glorious eternal bodies, Phil 3:20-21, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
If we choose in this life to ignore His offer, we will have only this life and after we are resurrected we will be told the truth one final time before we perish, 2 Thes 1:9, “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;” This is not what God wants for us, however, He loves us and His love demands that He respect our choice, Eze 33:11, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”
Ps 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” When we accept Jesus as our savior, we can walk through this world, which is filled with evil and death, without fear, for our savior has given us the hope of an eternity with Him. This hope allows us to live abundant, joyful lives as we walk through this imperfect world.
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