Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body. Losing a loved one is a horrible tragedy. The excruciating experience of loss will result in grief, which is that normal process in which an individual displays sorrow and anguish as a result of loss. It is a painful experience that tears someone apart emotionally. Death is something that touches us all, be it through the loss of a loved one or one day our own death. What does the Bible say about death, especially regarding believers? In this post I will share three realities concerning death and what this means for a Christian.
DEATH IS IN EXISTENCE
Death is real and it is in existence. Perhaps who have lost a loved on or know of someone close to you that has died. Death is an undeniable reality. Death came into existence as the result of the sin committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (:). The punishment of this sin was death (cf. ). Because of sin, death is in existence and is a normal part of life (cf. ).
DEATH IS AN ENEMY
Though death exists and is a normal part of life, death is a not a natural part of life. Death is the consequence of sin. Death is an ugly and horrible experience. The apostle Paul wrote, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (). It is an enemy and it really provides us a picture of how despicable sin is.
DEATH IS AN ENTRANCE
Despite the terror that death is, for the Christian, death is also an entrance to glory. How does a believer go from life here to life in Heaven? With the exception of Enoch, Elijah and those alive at the time of the Lord’s return, death is the entrance to glory. When it comes to the death of God’s people the Bible says, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints” (). What happens when a believer dies? It is the clear teaching of Scripture that the moment this takes place their soul is instantly with the Lord in Heaven (; ). That is to say, when a believer dies they are home in Heaven with their Saviour Jesus Christ. This is an exciting reality but it is not easy for those left behind to deal with. Death truly is a bittersweet experience. To know on one hand that a loved one is with the Lord in Heaven is a joy, yet on the other to know they are not with you is difficult. This is bittersweet.
3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.