What is death: What happen when a man dies?
The body without the spirit is dead (Jas 2:26). “She breathed her last, for she was dying.” (Gen 35:18)
“For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun.” (Eccl 9:5-6).
But the soul does not vanish with the body. Instead, it goes to its eternal home (Eccl 12:5-7).
For all who repent and believe in Jesus and are saved, their souls will be taken by angels to God’s paradise (Lk 16:22; 23:43).
The souls of unbelieving sinners will go to a place of torment – Hades (Lk 16:23-28).
In the future, both body and soul will undergo a second death (Rev 21:8).
What is death: What is its meaning?
Death marks the end of a person’s physical existence. It is the point at which his spirit returns to God. (Eccl 12:7).
1. Death of the body:
The spirit leaves the body, when one breathes his last (Gen 35:29). “If it were his intention and he withdrew his spirit and breath, all mankind would perish together and man would return to the dust.” (Job 34:14-15) “When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.” (Ps 146:4) For God gave breath to the people, and life to those who walk on the earth (Isa 42:5). Once he withdraws his spirit and breath, man would die. “This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Lk 12:20) This kind of death is feared most by the people of the world.
2. Death of the soul:
It means being separated from the life of God (Eph 4:18); though alive in body, such a man is dead (Lk 9:60; 1 Tim 5:6). This death began with the ancestors of mankind. God told Adam, “The day you eat it you will surely die.” On the day Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, his body did not die but he lived for 900 years. However, the spiritual lives within Adam and Eve died in sin (Eph 2:1-5; Jn 8:24). This kind of death is much more serious than death of the body. It is caused by deadly temptation from Satan. Not only will the condemned body die, but the soul will also sink in the most dreadful eternal death.
3. Death in eternal punishment:
It means being separated from God forever. The biblical explanation is as follows: “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” (2 Thess 1:8-9) This is the second death, in which those judged are thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulphur (Rev 21:8, 20:10), the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41). The fiery lake is eternal punishment (Mt 25:46) where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched (Mk 9:48). This kind of death is not once and for all; it means eternal torment of body and soul in punishment. “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb 10:31)
What is death: Can man escape death?
We all know that one day we shall die. Our body will then return to the dust but our soul will not vanish with the body. Our soul may sink into the most dreadful eternal death, i.e. when we were sent to hell for eternal punishment. Therefore we need to come to realisation that we need God’s mercy and salvation.
God does not intend to send anyone to hell. Instead, he “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4).
We should not think of hell as God’s vengeful punishment.
Hell is a choice. People choose hell by rejecting the grace of God.
When we sin, we choose to be separated from God, and this separation is exactly what hell is—eternal separation from God, his love, and his joy.
Our very action of sinning is its own punishment.
When addressing the question of whether anyone deserves hell, Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli explains, “Hell’s punishment fits sin’s crime because sin is divorce from God. The punishment fits the crime because the punishment is the crime. Saying no to God means no God. The point is really very simple. Those who object to hell’s over-severity do not see what sin really is. They probably look at sin externally, sociologically, legalistically, as ‘behaving badly.’ They fail to see the real horror of sin and the real greatness and goodness and joy of the God who is refused in every sin. We all fail to appreciate this. Who of us fully appreciates God’s beauty? The corollary immediately follows: who of us fully appreciates sin’s ugly horror?”
God does not intend to send anyone to hell. He “desires allmen to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim2:4).
John 3:16 (New King James Version)
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.
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