Death Topical Study

<p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Death in Scripture</span></strong></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Death Is a Consequence of Sin</span></strong></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 2:15-17</a>, do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Proverbs 8:36</a>, those who miss me injure themselves; all who hate me love death</span></span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Romans 5:12</a>, death came because of sin</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Romans 6:23</a>, for the wages of sin is death</span></span></li></ul><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Death Is a Part of the Rhythm of Life</span></strong></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 6:3</a>, God said that his won&#39;t abide in mortals forever</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 49:33</a>, Jacob&#39;s death</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Ecclesiastes 3:2</a>, there is a time to be born and a time to die</span></span></li></ul><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Spiritual Death</span></strong></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">John 3:3 and 6</a>, What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">John 3:16-17</a>, God sent the Son into the world to save the world</span></span></li></ul><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="heading-sm"><strong>Dying in the Lord</strong>&nbsp;</span></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">John 14:1-4</a>, do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me</span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Romans 14:8</a>, we are the Lord&#39;s</span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 Corinthians 15:21-22</a>, we all all be made alive in Christ</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">2 Corinthians 5:6-8</a>, we walk by faith and not by sight</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Phillipians 1:21-22</a>, live is Christ and dying is gain</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Revelation 14:13</a>, blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord</span></li></ul><p><strong><span class="heading-sm">Christ Defeats Death</span></strong></p><ul><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Romans 6:2-6</a>, we have been united with Christ in a death like his</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 Corinthians 15:25-26</a>, the last enemy that will be destroyed is death</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 Corinthians 15:51-57</a>, where, O death, is your sting?</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Revelation 21:4</a>, death will be no more</span></li></ul><p><strong><span class="heading-sm">Dead in Sin, Alive in Christ</span></strong></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="">Romans 8:11</a>, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Colossians 2:13</a>, God made you alive and forgave all trespasses</span></li></ul><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-lg">Reflections on Death</span></strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">A Tragic Consequence of Sin</span></strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">In Genesis 2 and Romans 5, death, both physical and spiritual, appears to be a tragic consequence of sin. In 1 Corinthians 15 death is &quot;the last enemy to be destroyed.&quot; It&#39;s not hard to conceive of even physical death as an enemy: &quot;it separates lovers.&quot; Elsewhere in Scripture, perhaps to be understood inside the frame of death-as-enemy, physical death is a familiar, expectable part of the rhythm of existence. There is a time to be born and a time to die. People perish, but thus make room for newcomers.</span> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Yet most Christians at most times have thought that physical death does not mean the end of our existence. We depart to be &quot;with Christ,&quot; as Paul says in Philippians 1. John Calvin&#39;s followers have usually thought, as he did, that our &quot;soul,&quot; or &quot;self,&quot; or &quot;ego,&quot; or &quot;spirit&quot; consciously enjoys its union with Christ in the &quot;intermediate state&quot; between death and the general resurrection at the dawn of the new heaven and new earth. The thinking here is that if going to be with Christ is a &quot;gain,&quot; (still Phil. 1), then our enjoyment of it cannot be less profound than it was before death. This is one reason that most Christians at most times have resisted the claim that we are simply identical with our bodies. As in the case of God and the angels, you don&#39;t necessarily need a body to think and love and exult.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Life</span></strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">In some Scripture, and especially in the gospel of John, it&#39;s hard to know whether the writer when speaking of &quot;life&quot; means spiritual vitality in this life or everlastingness in the next or, most likely, both. This is the case, for instance, in the famous verses of John 3:16 - 17.</span> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Sin and Physical Death</span></strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Lots of questions surround the idea that physical death is the tragic consequence of the human fall into sin. We now know from the fossil record that there were animal deaths for millions of years before humans were even on the scene. So is carnivorousness a part of God&#39;s original design? Judging by the fossil record, and by the incisors of carnivores, it seems so. Judging by the Scriptural prophecies of shalom and by our own hearts and minds, it seems not so. In Isaiah&#39;s picture of God&#39;s peaceable kingdom, for example, we find some of the loveliest of all Scriptural prophecies, and in them carnivorousness is only a memory:</span> </span></p><p><span class="body-copy" style=""><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">The wolf shall live with the lamb,</span><br /><span class="body-copy">the leopard shall lie down with the kid,</span></span></span><br /><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy">the calf and the lion and the fatling together,<br />and a little child shall lead them (Isaiah&nbsp;11:6).</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">The portrait captures our imagination because we wince at the stark realities of &quot;nature red in tooth and claw.&quot; If you watch one of those National Geographic specials on TV in which young lions chase down a deer, leap at its throat or claw their way onto its back, and then start sinking their incisors into the deer&#39;s flesh, it all looks more painful than anything we imagine God to have delighted in when he called creation &quot;very good.&quot; Here&#39;s a place where Christians who read Scripture, read the fossil record, and consult their own sensitivities may come up with more questions than answers. If carnivorousness is part of God&#39;s original design, is God less sensitive to animal pain than we are? If not, why do we have what looks like a design for it? Could a pre-fall in the angelic world have anything to do with an answer? Or is that mere speculation? If actually, in the &quot;real&quot; world, carnivorousness is one day to cease in the coming of God&#39;s peaceable kingdom, how will lions keep up their strength?</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Sin and Spiritual Death</span></strong></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">If there are hard questions about the connection of sin to physical death, there are only hard certainties about the connection between sin and spiritual death. Healthy dependence on God is our lifeline. When we turn our backs on God, or grieve God in some other way, we start a spiritual death spiral. People &quot;dead in their trespasses&quot; have succeeded in sinning themselves out of existence, spiritually speaking. They have become inert.</span> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Disintegration is in fact the main event in corruption of the human person &mdash; the breakdown of personal and social integrity, the loss of shape, strength, and purpose that make the human entity an &quot;entirety&quot; and make it this entirety. <span class="body-copy-sm">(Robert C. Roberts, <em>The Strengths of a Christian</em> [Westminster Press, 1984], p. 27)</span>&nbsp;Near its nadir the disintegrated human spirit is affectless, as in reported cases of juvenile killers whose gaze is wholly blank. At its nadir, the disintegrated human spirit moves beyond affectlessness to generate a demonic inversion of values, the sort of upside-down morality we see in those mafia movies in which ruthlessness is respected and the refusal to accept a bribe taken as a sign of contemptible self-righteousness.</span></span><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"> </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Because sin deadens us, the grace of God in a mighty miracle must regenerate us. In fact, if anyone questions whether there are contemporary miracles, the plainest answer is a convincing example of a hard, dead heart that has been softened and regenerated by God-Almighty&#39;s grace. To hear today of regeneration in a difficult person in a difficult culture is to hear the story of a Holy Ghost miracle.</span> </span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Practically the last thing the Bible says about death is that a time is coming when &quot;death will be no more&quot;</span></p>