A six part series – #1of #6
“DEATH is the ‘fear above all fears”. And to overcome that fear once and for all, we need to go to the “NAME above all names”.
Scripture in [1 Timothy 1:7] tells us that, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”.
I’m talking about Jesus Christ the Son of The Living God Who holds the key to both life and death.
The thought of death just about makes everyone cringe with fear. And that is understandable for it is our prime fear whether we admit it or not.
We don’t like to even think about it let alone talk about it. And those of us who do talk about it at times put on the bravest front we can muster up. Nobody likes being afraid and we certainly don’t like displaying that fear outwardly.
More often than not, it’s a subject we are comfortable with brushing under the carpet and leaving it there. Then we just look to carry on with our lives trying not to think about it.
However, the niggling thought never seems to leave even though we try and bury it somewhere deep within us. For there is other burial ground for it.
So, we cannot escape it. We are confronted with it just about every single day of our lives be it directly or indirectly. We are actually surrounded by it.
The Presence Of Death Is All Around Us
The Psalmist in the Bible says,“The sorrows of death have compassed (surrounded) me” [Psalm 18:4].
It is the same with us, for we all have witnessed the horrors and tragedies of death. Human history is full of it, which we learnt of and studied at our schools.
We read about them in the newspapers, see and hear it on television. We have seen our loved ones, friends, relatives and colleagues succumb to death in so many ways.
Probably the most disturbing factor is that most often that not, it comes without any warning whatsoever. It’s sudden.
How many we have known directly or indirectly, one day they are fine and the next day they are gone leaving us devastated.
And that is what death does. There is nothing more devastating than death causing us great sorrows. It makes lives fall apart.
This has caused many men to shake their fists angrily towards God wanting to have nothing to do with Him. But that is a topic for another day.
A Dangerous Place
Planet earth is probably the most dangerous planet in the entire cosmos. It smells of death just about everywhere we go.
When we think about it, it is indeed a miracle that we who are alive today are alive.
For this planet is just about saturated with all kinds of illnesses, infirmities, plagues, viruses, sickness and diseases. Even a common cold now could just about be anything that is capable of taking us out.
This is apart from the existence of wars, crime, terrorism, accidents and natural disasters of all kinds. So this never-ending list goes on.
The entire creation in fact, which include even plants and animals are in a state of “groaning and pain” [Romans 8:22].
We the human race, are indeed a race living in fear of death.
And the ONLY way to handle and overcome this fear is by knowing and embracing the Truth of God’s Word.
This Truth only comes through Paul’s Gospel of Grace as revealed to him by Jesus Christ for us today.
How that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again for our justification [1 Corinthians 15:1-4] and [Romans 4:25].
God’s Word alone sets us free from this fear.
So What Exactly Is Death?
“Death is a separation.”
In order to understand this, the Bible teaches us there are two births and two deaths.
The first birth is our natural birth, which takes place through our biological parents.
The second birth takes place the moment we believe and totally put our faith in the Gospel of our salvation. Our spirit, which is dead to God our Creator, is regenerated by the Holy Spirit and made alive to Him. This is a spiritual birth, and ‘the only one’ that matters, and is relevant for our eternal destination in Heaven.
The first death is the normal physical death that we all will die. The scriptural definition of this death is “the separation of our spirit from our body”. Our human spirit is the real us, and which ‘never’ dies. So, our spirit will be alive, but our body will be dead.
The second death, which is a spiritual death, is “a separation of our spirit from the Spirit God”. This is an irrevocable and everlasting separation, which is far beyond any human description. The closest I can come, is that it will be ‘infinitely times’ more unbearable and painful, than the loss of a loved one.
First Death By Appointment
The Bible clearly states in [Hebrews 9:27] that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”.
This is referring to the first death, which we all will die, and is irrespective of age.
And whatever the circumstances may look like to us, the hour is appointed.
Sure we all do everything we can to preserve our physical bodies the best we can and so we should.
But the fact is that our bodies are ageing with every passing moment and age will eventually get the better of us. And that ageing leading to death process starts from the moment we are born.
Nothing can stop that for none of us are physically ageless.
When Adam and Eve, the progenitors of the human race fell in the Garden of Eden through just one act of disobedience, death entered man. Not only did spiritual death take place, but physical death entered the human race too.
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” [Genesis 2:17].
[Romans 5:12] tells us that, “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:”
These Scriptures are referring to our spiritual death. Man’s spirit is dead to God and separated from God. It can never understand the things of God nor can it communicate with God.
Then we have the physical aspect of death, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” [Genesis 3:19].
Second Death By Choice
“Life and death” is the prime theme in the Word of God, the Bible.
When the Bible talks about life and death, it usually refers to them spiritually.
The context of the statement with regard to life and death being made is pretty clear. Whether its is spiritual or physical is easily distinguished.
Now here is an important point to understand.
The first death, that is the normal physical death is by appointment. When it’s time, then it’s time.
But the second death though is by personal choice.
Yes, we get to choose and choose we must.
We have no control over our physical birth and death. We don’t get to choose when, where and how.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die;” [Ecclesiastes 3:1-2]. They are appointed.
However, we definitely get to choose our spiritual birth and death. That is entirely up to us. It’s a decision each one of us “must” make for ourselves. No man can make it for us and God certainly will not. For HE has given us free will which He will not infringe upon.
God is constantly exhorting us to choose life over death, but we have to do the choosing.