Life and Death... and Life Everlasting
We're alive! Pardon me for stating the obvious, but let's not pass over this simple fact. The mere existence of life is absolutely… amazing. Anyone who has witnessed the birth of a child understands a bit of the wonder and amazement, and realizes that the existence of life is not so simple to explain.
Explain it?! Why do we even need to explain it? Why can't we simply enjoy it? People have always asked questions such as “Why am I here?” and “What's the meaning of life?” because if life is simply a cosmic accident, then your life has no more meaning than the existence of a lump of coal. But the very fact that we're having this discussion – the fact that you're sitting there thinking about all this – says that your life indeed has great meaning! So, pull yourself back from the despair and emptiness of that way of thinking, because life “didn't just happen.”
Nature by itself cannot explain life. What do you get with “Time plus Slime”? Some say, “Time plus Slime makes something Sublime.” In other words, give inanimate elements (“slime”) a long enough span of “time” and they will eventually get together and come alive (something sublime, wonderful and living). This idea is the exact opposite of what we see happening around us everyday. For example, allow a book to sit undisturbed for a period of time, and observe what happens. Its pages yellow, the backing becomes brittle… So we don't even need to mention scientific terms and physical laws such as the Second Law of Thermodynamics in order to understand that “Time plus Slime makes Grime.”
There must be a supernatural explanation. No random event, and no amount of time, can explain the complexity of things around us, let alone explain life. For example, a single strand of DNA on a single strand of hair on your head is simply too marvelous and complex to be explained by chance. So most cultures, ancient or modern, have a supernatural explanation for the existence of life… and understandably so! Now carry this thought to its next logical conclusion: Because life springs from someone supernatural, life is precious.
The Bible says that an eternal God created the world and everything in it, and that He made it teeming with life. When God breathed life into people, the man and woman became, not simply living things like the plants and animals, but rather living beings. We are alive, and we owe our very life to God our creator.
We're alive (see above), but we all die. Again, pardon me for stating the obvious, but we must come to terms with this simple fact, also. The wonder and amazement of life stands in stark contrast to the unspeakable tragedy and sorrow of death.
Perhaps death needs no explanation. It's all too easy to destroy, to stop physical life. But we have said that life comes from a supernatural source, so the question arises, “Why does the creator of life allow people to die?”
Before attempting to answer the question directly, let us first note that God is sovereign, and owes us nothing. Because He is greater than we, and because He is our creator, He can do with us as He will. The life He has given us is something we could have never gained for ourselves, anyway. And so we should thank Him for life, and not presume to complain that we die.
But the Bible says that death is not the end. In fact, the Bible is our guide for life, to prepare us specifically for the time of our death. Life is essentially a “test” of our faith, and it is at the point of our death that “lay down our pencils” and wait for our “answers” to be graded.
Obviously, we who are left alive when someone dies experience much sorrow, and lives are changed in very unpleasant ways. And so the basic issues are the same for death as they are for the whole topic of human suffering. But real tragedy and sorrow only come to those who die unprepared.
... and Life Everlasting
God's wonderful gift of life – at least speaking of this life on earth – is only temporary, because we all die. But as suggested above, there is more to life than just this life. When God breathed life into people, He gave them something more: He gave them each a soul. With that soul comes immortality, and an awesome responsibility.
Immortality (that is, living on after the end of time) does not necessarily bring happiness. Remember that this life is a test. If we listen to our creator and learn how to please Him, He will reward us with the most wonderful gift imaginable – eternal life in His presence. But if we are not faithful to him, we will be forever excluded from His presence.
The Bible says,
16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” – John 3:16-21
28 The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 “and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. – John 5:28-29
When the judgment scene is depicted, we read the two possible verdicts:
“Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” or, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” The cursed “will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:34, 41, 46)
Which will you choose – eternal blessing, or eternal punishment?
Thank you for visiting www.MyPreachingPen.com, and may God bless you as you continue reading and considering these matters.
Written by Ink Man
Quotes are from the New King James Version of the Bible.