Death sucks. My mom would wash my mouth out for using that word when I was growing up. But there is no better way to say it. Death is our enemy, or so says the apostle Paul in I Corinthians 15. “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” (v. 26). We find all kinds of things to say to try and comfort those who are dealing with the death of loved ones. But in the end we know that death is our enemy. It separates us from people we love. It often comes with a great deal of pain and suffering before it strikes its final blow.
God warned Adam. He told him that if he sinned he would surely die. Paul tells us in Romans 6:23 that death is the wage that sin earns. Everyone that has stood graveside at the funeral of someone they have loved knows how much death really sucks. But when death struck Adam and Eve, God promised to them hope. He spoke of a day when the seed of woman (speaking of Christ) would crush the head of Satan and overcome the grave.
I Corinthians 15 is a hopeful chapter. Paul speaks of Christ bringing all things in submission to God’s rule. It holds out the assurance of Resurrection from the dead and describes Christ as the first-fruits of those who have died and will rise again. First-fruits offers the anticipation of others to follow Him. Paul assures us that Christ in dying and rising again has taken the sting and victory out of death and the grave.
The Bible actually talks about two deaths, and two lifes. We are born into this world, and we live our lives in what seems to be a passing moment. Time never slows down, and in fact seems to speed up, as we get older. But regardless of our efforts to cheat death, it inevitably comes. So we live a physical life, and we all we die physically. But the Bible also speaks of a spiritual death and life. Those who put their faith and trust in Christ are “born again” and they have the privilege by God’s grace to live eternally with God in heaven. However, the Bible is clear that those who die outside of Christ will not rise to eternal life with God. Instead they will enter into an eternal state of spiritual death.
Don’t let the world shape your understanding of reality. Look to God’s Word, where God Himself reveals to us the truth. The truth is, if you are born once (physically), you are going to die twice; once physically, and again after the Great White Throne Judgment they are cast into the 2nd death, eternally. The Good News is, however, God has made a way that you can be born twice and only have to die once. If you are born physically, and then by grace born again spiritually by receiving Christ, you only die physically. You will be raised to live eternally with God.
I have written this in a very simplistic format, not to be glib, but to present reality. I have never met with a family after a loved one died that they did not find someone in their mind to get that person into heaven. But the truth is, only those who have been born again by receiving Christ will get to heaven. Christ made a way, but it is the only way. There are no second chances after death.
Anyone can be born again. Anyone can have eternal life. But everyone must come through Christ. Why such a morbid topic today? Events in life have turned my attention there and I wanted to offer you hope.
For those who know God through Christ, we pass through what Psalm 23 calls the “shadow of death.” Christ faced our ultimate death. When we trust in Him He promises, ‘Whoever believes in me will never die.” (spiritually). Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.