A Christian View of Death: What Is Death?
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." - John 14:1-3 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Death is a fact of life. Hebrews 9:27 says, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Death may result from natural or accidental causes, suicide, or homicide. It represents the point in time when the body ceases to function on earth, freeing the spirit and soul to return to the God who made them.
Death was not a part of God's original creation. It came into human experience as the result of sin. Adam and Eve chose to listen to Satan's lies instead of God's truth . . . and sin entered the human race. Since then, death has been an unavoidable part of our existence.
Consider this …
Views of death vary among cultures, religions, and individuals. Ancient Egyptians believed the quality of life after death was contingent on preserving the body and so they perfected the art of mummification. The Greeks were more philosophical about death. Their view was one of passive acceptance. In the moments before his death, Socrates declared, "And now it is time to go, I to die, and you to live; but which of us goes to a better thing is unknown to all but God." In Rome, two conflicting views of death were held concurrently. Some believed in a better life after death. Others held a view similar to that of Gaius Caesar: "Beyond this life there is no place for either trouble or joy." These and many other viewpoints have arisen through the ages. Some believe death is the end. Some believe people die only to return to earth in another form. Some believe they can earn their way to a better life after death. And on and on. But what does the Bible have to say?
In the first century, Jesus came preaching redemption and eternal life. He declared the answer to the philosophical and spiritual quest of the ancient Mediterranean world. His message of life after death is as relevant today as it was when He introduced the gospel two thousand years ago.
For the Christian, death is a release from the limitations of earthly life and an introduction to eternal life with Christ in heaven. Rather than fearing death, the Christian should look forward to life after death with joy and expectation. For the non-Christian, however, death is the entrance into eternal disgrace and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2 NET).
This week we will take a closer look at what the Bible has to say about death.
Father, I thank you for the hope of eternal life made possible through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Help me to know the reality of that hope . . . and to be able to share it with others. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …Handling Loss and Grief: How to Face Losses in Life and Grieve Christianly by Raymond T. Brock, Ed.D. This study teaches participants what the Bible has to say about handling the losses of life. It offers biblical coping methods for facing loss.
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