On Death (Part 1)

On Death I. Scripture refers to various things as death: A. Spiritual death in trespasses and sin. GEN 2:17; EPH 2:1. B. Separation from fellowship and accord with God. JAM 5:19-20; EPH 5:14; 1TI 5:6; REV 3:1. C. Physical death. JAM 2:26. D. Reproductive death. ROM 4:19. E. The second death or eternal separation from God in the lake of fire. REV 20:14; 21:8. F. Death of delusions of righteousness. ROM 7:7-9. G. Legal death TO sin and practical mortification (depriving of life) of self and flesh. ROM 6:2, 10-11; COL 3:5; 1CO 15:31. II. Points A to E (above) speak of death in the sense of the penalty of Adam's sin which imposed a bondage of corruption upon the creation. ROM 5:12; 8:20-22. A. Sin results in death. ROM 6:23; JAM 1:15. B. Since death came from sin, and that from Adam, no Christian should believe in a theory which affirms death prior to Adam's sin. 1. Such theories destroy the doctrine of salvation from sin and death by Jesus Christ, the last Adam. 1CO 15:21-22, 45. 2. If sin and death did not come by the first Adam, there is no reason for the last Adam. III. This study concerns itself with physical death. It will be helpful to remember that man is a tripartite being. 1TH 5:23. A. The entire person of the elect, including his body, is the purchased possession of God. 1CO 6:20; JOB 14:12-15; 19:25-27. B. The inward part of man (soul / spirit) lives on after the body dies. LUK 16:22-24; REV 6:9-10. C. Cultures and religions worldwide have believed in life after death of the body. 1. Christianity is unique in that it has a testimony of One who died and resurrected bodily to declare the certainty of life after death. REV 1:18; 19:10. 2. This testimony changed the world by delivering men from the fear of death. HEB 2:14-15. IV. Death is an appointment which all must keep until the return of Christ. JOB 30:23; HEB 9:27. A. Exceptions like Enoch and Elijah (who never died physically) or the saints which are alive and remain at Christ's coming (1TH 4:15-17) are still reckoned as legally dead and judged in Christ. 2CO 5:14; COL 3:3. B. The days of our lives on earth are by the appointment of God. JOB 7:1; 14:5. 1. appoint: To determine authoritatively, prescribe, fix (a time, later a place) for any act. a. determine: To put an end or limit to... b. Man's lifespan is limited by bounds as are the seas. JOB 26:10; 38:8-11. c. The days of man have a limit imposed by God. (1) The lifespan of man has undergone great reductions since the time of the flood of Noah, decreasing rapidly from multiple hundreds of On Death 8-29-15 Page 1  years to less than 200 at Abraham's time (GEN 25:7-8); and eventually levelling off to an average of 70. PSA 90:10. (2) Dreams of super-longevity or immortality through science will not overthrow God's limitation. d. The designs of rebels and fools to evade the punishment which sin demands amount to nothing. ECC 8:8; ISA 28:14-15, 18; AMO 9:10. 2. Only God knows the appointed day of death and He may alter it at His discretion. GEN 27:2; ISA 38:1-5. 3. We are justified in praying for the living but not for the dead. 2SAM 12:22-23. a. John commands believers to not pray for a brother who has sinned unto death. 1JO 5:16. b. This is a sin which is not private in nature and thus cannot be contained by the rule of JAM 5:19-20. c. This sin results in death of fellowship and may result in the death of the body. 1CO 10:1-11; 11:30. C. As a general rule, ungodly living will shorten one's life. PRO 10:27; PSA 55:23; ECC 7:17. 1. It perplexed some prophets that some wicked men live long and prosper. JOB 21:7; ECC 7:15; PSA 73:3-4. 2. Consider that God may be preserving them for use as His sword. PSA 17:13-14. 3. Consider that God may be preserving them as useful providers for the righteous. PRO 13:22; 28:8. 4. Consider that this life is all the “heaven” that the unsaved shall enjoy. PRO 14:32; 11:7; PSA 73:17-24. D. As a general rule, godly living will be rewarded with a lengthy life. PRO 3:1-2, 16; 9:10-11; PSA 34:12-14; EPH 6:2-3. E. God may bring about the death of the righteous prematurely as an act of mercy. ISA 57:1-2. F. Premature death may be simply owing to the general vanity of the bondage of corruption. ROM 8:20-22. G. Premature death may be owing to foolishness which produces natural consequences or divine punishment. ECC 7:17; ACT 5:5. H. One may choose to engage in high-risk occupations, hobbies, etc. which increase the odds of premature death. 1. We do well to remember that every man must bear his own burden and accept responsibility for the outcome of what he sows. GAL 6:5-7. 2. Let us not blame God for the bad outcome of our own choices. PSA 107:17; PRO 19:3. 3. We ought not to presumptuously tempt God. MAT 4:6-8. I. Ultimately, the seeming unfairness of varying longevity is resolved in the sovereignty of God. 1. It is His creation to sustain or dispose of as He pleases. DEU 32:39; DAN 4:35. 2. We are to be reconciled to whatever life and burden God gives. JOH 21:18-22. J. It is the height of folly to assume we have plenty of time left in this world. PRO 27:1; JAM 4:13-15. K. It behooves us to number our days. PSA 90:12; EPH 5:16; 1CO 7:29; JOH 9:4. On Death 8-29-15 Page 2
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