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SIH STSTA ICONThe scientific study of death (Thanatology) centers its attention on the physical aspects of death while failing to take into account the more important spiritual aspect of death.  This coupled with a misunderstanding of “near death experiences” has led to much misinformation concerning death and its eternal affects on man.

To make matters worse… the subject of death is reluctantly spoken of by a majority of people.  I have found that bringing up the subject of death brings out a variety of responses from fascination and anticipation to dread and even the denial of its very existence.

One thing that we all can agree on, apart from the miracle of Christ’s second coming, we all will experience death someday.  For some of us, death will not touch our lives for many years… for others death will be just around the corner.

It is because of this universality of death that we must be willing come to an understanding of what it is and how it will affect us.    In this study, we will try to find out what the Bible means when it speaks of “death”.  The Bible teaches us about the “event” of death and the “results” of death as well.

THE SCRIPTURE:

2Tim 1:10 (KJV)

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

THE STUDY:

WHAT IS DEATH ?

The easiest way to understand the Bible definition of “death” is to think of death as a separation.   Biblically, death has two aspects to it… a physical aspect and a spiritual aspect.   Both aspects can be thought of as a separation that takes place.

The physical aspect of death…

Physically, death is defined Biblically as the separation of the spirit from the body, in Philippians we have this type of death being spoken of:

Phil 1:20-24

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labor: yet what I shall choose I know not. For I am in a strait between two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

(Here, we find Paul speaking of physical death as a departure of his spirit from the earth to his heavenly Father; while his body remains testifying to his death.  However, he believed that it was better for the believers in Philippi that his spirit would continue to abide in his fleshly body.)

The spiritual aspect of death…

Spiritually, death is the separation of man from God.

Ps 5:4-5 (KJV)

For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.  The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Isa 59:1-2

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from you, that he will not hear.

In Isa 59: we can see that due to the sin that is in our lives results in separation from the Lord.  Due to our sinful nature we all are living in a state of spiritual separation from the Lord.  This spiritual separation is described as death in 1 John 3:14-15…

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

WHY DO WE ALL DIE?

In both cases, physical and spiritual death come upon us due to our sinful natures which we have inherited through our descent from Adam.  We are all fallen creatures, therefore we all must face death someday.

Rom 5:12-21 (KJV)

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:… Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come… For if through the offence of one many be dead, … And not as [it was] by one that sinned,… For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; … Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; … For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, … That as sin hath reigned unto death,…

Repeatedly in Romans 5:, we find the principle of death coming upon us due to our sinful condition.  This sinful, fallen nature was received by man as the physical descendents of Adam.

WHAT ARE SOME OTHER INPORTANT PRINCIPLES THE BIBLE TEACHES US ABOUT DEATH?

Because we are spiritually dead, we cannot, of our own ability, give ourselves life.

A dead body cannot revive itself using CPR.  Likewise, a person who is spiritually dead can do nothing to give their self life.

Eph 2:1-3 (KJV)

And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

In the above verses, we find that the Lord is the One that gives life (quickens) to those who cannot help themselves due to their sinful, dead condition.  Notice in verse three, the Bible clearly says that those who are in the spiritually dead condition are “by nature the children of wrath”.  This brings us to our next point…

The sinful condition of those who are spiritually dead results in God’s wrath.

This wrath filled separation from God takes place following physical death.

Rev 20:11-15 (KJV)

11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Please notice that this final consignment to the lake of fire is called “the second death”.  Why is this? Again, the principle of separation is brought forth.  At the second death, sinful mankind will be placed in a state of eternal separation from God.

After looking at death, it’s definition, it’s aspects, and it’s effects…. We now have one more question to answer…. Is there anyway that we can escape death and it’s results?…

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Physical death is a certainty for all of us…. apart from the Lord Jesus Christ’s 2nd coming to this earth all mankind must face death someday.

But just as deliverance from physical death can only come at the hands of Christ, so too, those who are spiritually dead can only receive life through the intervention of Christ on the cross….

Rom 5:6-11 (KJV)

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

For those who have never come to a life changing belief in an Existing God…

It is only through repentance and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and his work on the cross that sinful mankind will receive spiritual life and the assurance of an eternity with God.   Although all mankind is conceived in a state of spiritual death, our great Lord can bestow life to a sinful fallen man….

2Tim 1:10 (KJV)

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

For those who have experienced God’s grace in their lives…

You have nothing to fear when face death… if you know that you have received God’s forgiveness through the shed blood of Christ on the cross, you can rest assured that following your death, you will enter into a glorious eternity with your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…

Rev 21:1-7 (KJV)

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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4 Comments

  1. Patti (PJ) says:

    Hey Rob! Very informative post! I must say, I’m a bit of an “odd duck”. I have said many times over the years which I have had my relationship with Christ, that death doesn’t scare me. As a matter of fact, I have spoken to God while driving around in my car, telling Him, “Lord, you know how I feel about this world”. It is not a place where I want to be because of the shape its in. This world is not my home, I’m just passing through, so anytime You are ready to take me, I’m READY TO GO!

    Now before you become alarmed, I’m not saying that I would kill myself. My views on that are that “if you kill yourself, you are committing murder (you are taking a life that doesn’t really belong to you, it belongs to God). You cannot ask forgiveness or repent because you’re dead. Therefore God can’t forgive you for that particular sin. So, NO, I wouldn’t kill myself. I’m just saying whenever God’s ready, I am too.
    God Bless,
    PJ

    • Rob Barkman says:

      PJ,

      It didn’t cross my mind you were talking about killing yourself. I think your feelings about death are shared by many believers. Personally, I’m not looking forward to the process of death, but the end result of death I am looking forward to (eternity with the Lord and delivernace from my sinful flesh and this sinful world.) Keep in mind, the Lord has already paid for our sins and we are forgiven past, present, and future… so loosing our salvation if a suicide is committed is really no issue with me.

      Heb 10:12-14 (KJV)
      12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
      13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
      14) For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

      I could never bring my self to commit suicide for my testimony’s sake and the Lord’s glory. If I can’t trust Him to help me through the difficulties in this life, how can I trust in Him for my eternity? To me, suicide is committed because the person feels as if there is no hope of deliverence from the trials we face in this world. This same person has previously said that he has placed his trust in Christ who is said to be our friend and protector during this life.

      For a Christian to commit suicide is to undue everything they have professed as a believer, in many cases, it even implies that he never really placed his trust in Christ to begin with. In a few cases, the suicide may be the result of physical imbalances where the distraught person truly does understand exactly what they are doing at the time. But for others, they had only made a hollow “profession” of Christ without ever having a work of grace wrought in their heart.

      Thank you again for your comments, PJ, May the Lord bless you.

      Rob

  2. Hi Rob
    What a great blog about death. I think you’ve covered every aspect and it should be a help to many.

    Personally, I agree with your response to Patti that you are not looking forward to the PROCESS of death. I have been with a number of people in their last weeks/days/moments of life and some have not had an easy time. However, I share your joyful anticipation of what FOLLOWS passing from this life. How can we fear death when we KNOW what is ahead?

    To use the words of my favourite hymn writer, Stuart Townend, the last verse of “In Christ Alone”
    No guilt in life, no fear in death;
    This is the pow’r of Christ in me.
    From life’s first cry to final breath,
    Jesus commands my destiny.
    No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man
    Can ever pluck me from His hand;
    Till He returns or calls me home,
    Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hello Angela,

      Sorry it took so long for me to respond to your comment…. I’ve been super busy the past week. Anyhow, thanks so much for your comments. And THANKS for sharing the lyrics to “In Christ Alone”… I’ve never heard it but it certainly rings of truth in the lyrics.

      Our coming eternity with Him makes it “worth it all” for us as Christians…. praise the lord for the wonderful eternity awaiting us.

      May the Lord bless you,

      Rob

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