Death is a result of sin. We know this because in the beginning, people used to live for hundreds and over a thousand years. In Genesis 3: 17-19 it states: And to Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat, I have placed a curse on the ground. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. All your life you will sweat to produce food, until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from dust, and to the dust you will return." Life is short. In Job 7: 6-7 we read how Job cries out to God. He acknowledges and says "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle flying back and forth." They end without hope. O God, remember that my life is but a breath, and I will never again experience pleasure." So we know that it's important for us to fulfill our purpose here on earth before our time comes. To make our time on earth count. To do what is pleasing before the eyes of our God. Every person will face death. Psalm 89: 48 reads: No one can live forever; all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave. We know that death is inevitable. So we know that while we have a chance, we must do all that we were meant to do by the Creator. The death of a Christian is precious. The Lord's loved ones are precious to Him; it grieves Him when they die. The good thing is that they go to meet their Creator. They are joining Him in His kingdom. That is what makes it so precious. Christians enter perfect peace at death. The righteous pass away; the godly often die before their time. And no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For the godly who die will rest in peace. They will be spared of the evil days ahead. God has power over death. In John 14: 19 Jesus said to His disciples "In just a little while the world will not see me again, but you will. For I will live again, and you will too." Death does not end the life of a Christian. Here we see how the power of God can bring back to life whoever He pleases, and whenever He pleases (for His own will and purpose). We see the promise that He makes so clear to His disciples, and His children of faith. The death of Christians brings fellowship with Jesus. Acts 7: 59 when Stephen addressed the Council it reads: And as they stoned him (Stephen), Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Right at that moment as he prayed, Stephen was in fellowship with Jesus, his Lord, Creator, and Savior. It is a good way to die-in fellowship with God. It is similar to the death of Jesus. Although He was being tortured, His fellowship with the father was constant. That is the peace of God in the midst of chaos. God provides eternal life. Romans 6: 23 says: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. We know that we will live and spend eternity with our Creator. Jesus will raise everyone who has died. 1 Corinthians 15: 20-23 reads: But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of great harvest of those who will be raised to life again. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, Adam, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man, Christ. Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life. But there is order to this resurrection: Christ was raised first; then when Christ comes back, all his people will be raised. So we Christians know that our death will not be permanent. Living in heaven is better than living on earth. 2 Corinthians 5: 6-7: So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. That is why we live by believing, and not by seeing. We know that when we leave our bodies behind on earth, we will be leaving behind all the pain, suffering, sickness, sadness, evil things existing on earth, and we will be with the Lord resting in peace until our resurrection. This is not to say we rush to our death, however, we're confident in it, so when the time comes that our Lord decides our time is over on earth, we are not afraid. Death is not the end of a person. 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-14 talks about the hope of the resurrection: And now, brothers and sisters, I want you to know what will happen to the Christians who have died so you will not be full of sorrow like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus comes, God will bring back with Jesus all the Christians who have died. So we know that death is not the end of a person. We need to prepare our spiritual life for death. Hebrews 9: 27-28 shows: And just as it is destined that each person dies only once, and after that comes judgement, so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again but not to deal with our sins again. This time He will bring salvation to all those who are eagerly waiting for Him. So, while we wait for him, we are preparing for this meeting. We prepare with prayer, fasting, and submission to the Holy Spirit; in fellowship with Him, our brethren and following His commands with all of our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. We don't know how long we will live. James 4: 13-14 says: Look here, you people who say, "Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit." How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog-it's here a little while, then it's gone. We need to be careful with this. God is clearly warning us not to be too self-confident. Our confidence should be in God first. We should put our trust in Him, when we make any life decisions. We should be saying "Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year, God-willing." "God-willing, we will do business there and make a profit." The reason, is because if God does not want it, or will it, it will not happen. Either our plans will not work, things will not go the way we thought, or we could die the next day. We should be mindful, and understand that we are not in control of our own days of our lives-God controls how long we will live. God will destroy death. Revelation 21: 4 reads: "He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying of pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever." So the results of sin will be removed when Jesus returns for His Church. And He will end all of our punishments, death, and curses for our sins. This is the promise He made to those who believe and remain faithful. Until next study; I wish you all a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! May God be with you and yours-God bless you! Peace, health, and prosperity into the New Year!
..taking back the souls..one member at a time..