“Death – The Last Enemy”

Posted: September 15, 2012 in 1 Corinthians, Bible Prophecy, Death, Rapture, Resurrection, Salvation, Security

     “The Lord is my shepherd…Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me” (Psalm 23:1, 4).

     Death.  It’s a subject that most of us don’t like to discuss. It’s an enemy that brings us much pain and suffering. Part of this comes from our not knowing very much about the other side of death. In the Old Testament times people had much less information than we do. Today we have the completed Scriptures that tell us what God wants us to know for now. Since death is going to happen to all of us eventually (Hebrews 9:27), we would do well to find out what God has said about it in His Word. It is our only totally reliable source of information (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16, 17; John 14:6; 17:17).

     Questions. Are there some people who won’t die physically? If so, who, how, when, and why? Is there a way for the sting of death to be removed? How should Christians respond to a fellow Christian’s death? What really happens when a person dies? Is he annihilated, reincarnated, or eventually resurrected? If so, how is his eternal destiny determined? Are there degrees of enjoyment in heaven and degrees of suffering in hell? Is there a “sin unto death” and if so, what is it? Who held the keys of death in the past, and who holds them now?

      Types Of Death. Physical death is the separation of the spirit and soul (immaterial parts) from the body (material and physical part) when the body ceases to function (Hebrews 5:7; 7:23). Spiritual death is the separation of man from God that began when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17). Both physical and spiritual death can be reversed (1 Corinthians 15:21-26; Ephesians 2:1). But the “second death” is irreversible (Revelation 21:8). There are no additional opportunities to be saved after you die physically.

     A Three Part Being. A human being consists of a spirit (rational), a soul (emotional), and a body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Do you know in which order they get saved when a person trusts in Christ as his Savior? Which two parts still need to be saved? Hint – Romans 8:23; 1 Peter 1:9.

     The Exception. Normally everyone dies (Genesis 2:17; 5; Romans 5:12; 6:23; Hebrews 9:27). But the good news is, not everyone will die physically. Their bodies will be changed from being corruptible, mortal bodies into incorruptible, immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:54). Do you know when this will take place and to whom (1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17)? Would you like to be in this group?

     Potential/Actual Years. Did you know that we all have potential years and actual years? A normal person can expect to live 70 or 80 years (Psalm 90:10). Some live longer. But our actual years here on earth could be shortened by our “stepping on the landmines” in life. Accidents (incidents), illnesses, bad habits, and other things can shorten our days on earth. Carnal Christians, who act like unbelievers, can reduce their days on earth by engaging in lawless behavior (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 11:30; James 5:20; 1 John 5:16).

     The Keys Of Death. Having keys usually indicates that one has authority to enter a building or to drive a car. Prior to Christ’s death and bodily resurrection, the devil held the keys of death (Hebrews 2:14). This is why people feared death. One day Jesus took those keys from Satan and today He is the One who decides the timing of our death (Revelation 1:18). This should encourage Christians to serve the Lord without the fear of man or the devil (Matthew 10:28; 1 John 4:4). Some believers may glorify God through great suffering (Peter was crucified upside down) and others may die a natural death as the Apostle John did (John 21:18-23; Hebrews 11).

     What Sleeps? When a believer dies physically his body sleeps (John 11:11-13). It will turn back to the dust from which our bodies came (Genesis 2:7; 3:19). The Scriptures don’t teach “soul sleep.” Dead people are very conscious (Luke 16:19-31).

     Our Tents/Dwellings. Immediately at death, when the spirit and soul depart from the body, a person is given a temporary body to house his spirit and soul either in Paradise or in Hades (2 Corinthians 5:1-8; 12:4; Luke 16:19-31; Deuteronomy 32:22). But at the time of each one’s resurrection from the dead, the body that turned back to dust will be resurrected and changed into a body that will never die again. Every person who has lived here on earth will spend eternity somewhere. What about you? Some people who thought they would enter the kingdom of heaven will hear some very disturbing words from Jesus someday (Matthew 7:21-13; 25:41, 46). They did religious works but were without Christ as their Savior. 

     Ultimate Victory. The last enemy that Jesus Christ will destroy is death (1 Corinthians 15:26). He will do this by raising every human being who has died back to life. But where you spend eternity will be determined by what you do with Him while you’re living here on earth. He died for all of our sins (past, present, and future)…and rose again bodily from the grave. He can/will save from hell those who place their faith in Him exclusively. We aren’t saved by our good works lest we should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

     Help? If you need spiritual help, we invite you to call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site where we have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” and other material to help believers grow. If you would like to hear the related message, go to www.kelseypeach.com.

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