Tuesday 9 November 2010

Dying or not

Are there people who have no death in them? According to Scriptures nobody is going to escape death. Since what happened in Eden we all have to face pain, ageing, deterioration, dying. Immortality is not given to us worldly people.

We are all going to die, which means that we are going to cease to exist until resurrected.  In death, the grave, there is no knowledge, no remembrance, no praise. There is no extra element of us, an extraordinary being or sort ghost which is going to live on. Man is dust and to dust he returns (see Genesis 3:19; Job 10:9; Psalm 90:3).
A separate soul was not joined to a prepared body when we came into existence on this earth. We were born by receiving the breath of life.  Man became a living soul (being RSV) when the breath of the spirit of life was breathed into his nostrils. "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (Genesis 2:7, KJV).

All our live we may have chosen to follow God, but this even lets us not live on after our death. Once we come to that point we also shall not be able to feel or do anything anymore. Even not praising God.
"For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in Sheol who can give you praise?" (Psalm 6:5)
"What profit will thee be in my blood when I go down to the pit?  Shall the dust praise thee?  Shall it declare thy truth?" (Psalm 30:9) "The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence" (Psalm 115:17). We shall not be able to do anything, even not praise God. Because we would be like in a deep sleep. And we have to wait until we got woken up by Jesus like he called Lazarus (John 11:11). In "the last days", when God will show His power once more on the earth, at "a time of trouble such as never was "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:1-2). Some people will be raised from the dead when Jesus comes and others will sleep forever in the dust of the ground.

We die and return to the earth. If we have died "in Christ" we have that marvellous hope that we will rise again to eternal life. But that is not going to happen straight ahead after our death. That's why believers who have died in the new testament are said to be "asleep" while those who "understand not" as the Psalmist puts it have been destroyed.
Subjectively the dead have no sense of time between the moment of death and that of the resurrection. Objectively, thousands of years may have passed before they shall get resurrected.

“If (God) should set his heart on it, if he should gather to himself his spirit and his breath, All flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust” (Job 34:14,15) and stay dust, but He has given His promises and by those we do find life.

Whilst it is easy to focus on the mention of dust, and to think of the bodily corruption that occurs when anybody dies, think instead about what is being told us about life.
Life is a gift from God. He energised Adam in the Garden of Eden and made it possible for mankind to come into existence and He has perpetuated the race that Adam and Eve fathered.
Someone once said about God: “He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25), and that generosity is evident all around us, all the time.  Life is the most marvellous thing we
possess: it is God’s free gift to all of us.

He gives and we receive. He is the source of life and we are creatures dependent upon Him. When our breath leaves the body, try as we might, we cannot get it back. Nobody can bring a dead body back to life: when it is dead it is dead. So here is a stark reminder of the difference
between God and mankind: He is immortal and we are not. The Bible often makes that  distinction and that is hard for some people to accept, but see for yourself.

It is our Almighty God who has given immortality to His angels and to only one man. Namely Jesus who at his return to earth will manifest in his own time.  It is this Jesus who shall appear "our Lord Yahshua the Messiah: Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting.  Amen." (1 Timothy 6:14-16 KJBPNV)

If we want it or not, we are the lesser one. We are always given up to death. “For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:11); “Here mortal men receive tithes…” (Hebrews 7:8).

God alone has inherent immortality. He is the only one who is eternal. Though certain Christian denominations proclaim that we become eternal, this shall always be impossible because we always had somewhere a beginning. And a person who had a beginning can not be eternal because that is one of the implications of eternity, having no beginning and no end.

We are mortal – dying creatures. But God, who first gave mankind the breath of life, can also give us life that lasts forever. The Bible calls this “eternal life” or “immortality” but there you have to be careful how you want to understand that immortality. Please do have before your eyes that you have two forms of immortality: 1. having no way to die or 2. the one (how I would put it and believe in) were we have the possibility in us to die but are give (by grace) the possibility to stay for ever, which is to stay a life in eternity. Here’s one of God’s promises about that wonderful
prospect: “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). It is that life for eternal what we can get, because Jesus brought his Ransom Offer. "I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concernmg them which are asleep (he means in death), that ye sorrow not, even as the rest who have no hope .... For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven ... with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise . . ." (1 Thessalonians 4:13,16) Christ personally (note "himself") will descend from heaven; and the faithful dead will rise-from the grave of course. Here are basic teachings which are found throughout the New Testament. They are foundation truths of the Gospel. ". . . The hour is coming, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his (Jesus') voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:28-29).

The bad news is that we could earn death; the good news is that there is an alternative. We could be given eternal life: the chance to live forever in a perfect world. What a choice and
what an opportunity!

The reward of the righteous does not consist of some "spirit existence" somewhere; it will be the granting of an incorruptible body, one that will not waste away and perish as our present one does, but will no longer be subject to death.

Not having to endure pain or to be frightened to hurt ourselves or to die we shall be able to enter the "paradise" of the new Kingdom of peace and joy which Christ will establish when he returns to the earth.

Those who have listened to what God has to say, have taken the time to understand it, and who have made those promises their life’s aim, they shall, when they have repented and chosen to keep God's Commandments, be able to trust the Lord and shall receive the opportunity to live for eternal in God's Kingdom as true members of the family of God .

The Bible explains that we must be baptised if we want to enter the Kingdom of God and start to live with Him, here and now. It was the Lord himself who said: “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3) and he went on to explain that this means that we must be born again “of water and the Spirit” (3:5). do not postpone it, because you never what tomorrow brings.

Dutch version / Nederlandstalige versie: Al of niet onsterfelijkheid

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