Can you help me understand the
death of death?
It’s always interesting to talk with
people about their concepts of death
Most of their questions however are
focused on biological death and how
they believe the end time addresses and resolves the termination of
Given this paradigm, it is easy to see how difficult attempting to explain how death is destroyed in Christ could be one of those ideas that would provoke questions on how death comes to an end?
People are Always Dying and Always Will Die
When we speak about fulfilled eschatology, people always ask questions about why we continue to die. Their focus is on biological life. While God created our biology, it is not of supreme importance in terms of our relationship to him.
Physical life is a temporary arrangement. In fact, God says that neither biological life nor biological death can separate us from him. In other words, biological death is not and never was the chief enemy.
For this reason, there should be no undo fear of either life or death though people may fear both. In fact, biological death can be a means of glorifying God, (John 21:19; Phil. 1:20; Rev. 12:11).
Because biological death serves many useful purposes, its eradication would create untold harm. Think about it with regards to the animal, plant and insect kingdoms. What if there were no death of either animals, plants or insects?
God created the death of animals, plants and insects to serve many useful purposes. Without biological death in those three kingdoms, no form of life could exist very long. Thus death obviously was part of the creation from the beginning.
The Same Was True for All Humanity
What would happen if there were no biological death? For starters, it would perpetuate suffering and pain. It would reduce people to the frailty’s of old age forever. To assume no death does not mean no aging!
But, what if people didn’t age? How wreckless could the prospects of perpetual youth be in many cases? How could the world be rid of its tyrants? Should starving children live forever. How cruel would that be?
The cost of health care would skyrocket. Expiration of retirement benefits would be a colossal problem or could people ever look forward to retirement? How much more competition would there be for jobs?
Nursing homes would overflow. Insurance benefits would end at age 100 or sooner. Many of the advances in safety we now have would not be possible without the tragedies of death and what is learned from the mistakes or oversights.
The point here is simply to note that death as a natural consequence of physical life serves many useful purposes. This is not an argument for murder or genocide.
God in his infinite wisdom knew what he was doing when he made natural death a part of the creation plan from day one. Contrary to opinions of the marjority, biological death is not the result of sin.
Sin-Death Is Man’s True Enemy – Can You Help Me Understand the Death of Death?
Death caused by sin is separation from God. That death is man’s enemy. That is the death Adam and Eve died while yet biologically alive. God told them the day they ate of the tree they would die. He did not lie.
This is the death man should fear, but only if he is not where death is defeated and dies. Christ came to abolish death and to bring light and immortality to light through the gospel, (2 Tim. 1:10). He came to put an end to the death that separates us from the Father.
Passing From Death Into Life
The promise of God for believers is that they pass from death into life.
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and belives in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. (John 5:24)
Life is a state into which one passes by virtue of faith or belief in Christ. This belief encompasses obedience, i.e. everything it means to be a Christian. In other words, we pass out of this death, not by dying physically, but by leaving a state of death and entering a state of life.
John wrote that those who loved God, were already passing from death to life.
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death,” (1 John 3:14).
To deny that we pass from death to life in Christ is the equivalent of saying it is impossible to love the brethren. But, who would think of not loving his brother until an alleged rapture, great tribulation or end of the present world? Yet that’s when most people think death is destroyed, defeated and put away!
We know we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren. John wrote to those in the first century testifying that they loved the brethren. Therefore, John wrote to those in the first century testifying they had passed from death to life.
What John Does Not Say
John does not say we know we have passed from death to life because dead corpses crawled up out of their graves. Therefore, John does not teach that passing from death to life means biologically raising the dead.
Secondly, John wrote to living saints in the church. The people to whom John wrote had not experienced biological death. Yet, he says they had passed from death to life. Therefore, something other than biological death is the cause of “this” resurrection. This points us back to Christ’s statement.
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
“There is nothing terrible in life for the man who realizes there is nothing terrible in death.” —Epicurus