“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
Apple and pumpkin picking, the cool evening breeze, sweaters and scarves. I love autumn. And where I live, the trees are absolutely beautiful, as they change into their various, bold autumn colors. But do you know why this happens? Because their leaves are dying. They stop making food, starve, and eventually fall to the ground. The trees’ beauty is due to death.
Autumn is also the time of bountiful harvests. But they occur because winter is coming, and anything not harvested will be killed by the cold. Autumn also contains many holidays that center on death, from the celebration of the spooky and macabre of Halloween to the remembrance of dead loved ones on Día de los Muertos and the dead in Christ on All Saints’ Day.
So whether it’s holidays or the falling leaves, autumn contains constant reminders of death. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Death is an inevitable part of life – more specifically, the end. Therefore, we should prepare ourselves accordingly, especially us Christians. Here are 6 things the Bible teaches about death:
1) Death is the consequence of sin. Death is not just physical; it’s spiritual. Adam’s original sin has infected all of humanity, and so we all die as a result of our sins (Rom. 5:12, 6:23).
2) Death reminds us to make our lives matter. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul commands his readers to make the most of their lives since “the time is short” (v. 29). We must take every moment seriously as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1) who bear our crosses daily (Luke 9:23).
3) Death is not the end. Hebrews 9:27 says, “people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” Unbelievers will be judged by their deeds and will face eternal separation from God. But what about Christians?
4) Death has been defeated. Jesus “has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10). How? Romans 5 and 6 teach that while we inherit death through Adam (point 1 above), we gain eternal life through Jesus’ death and resurrection. This is what gave Jesus’ disciples the boldness to spread the Gospel far and wide, even at the risk of their own persecution and death. And now we have the same hope of life after death. Therefore…
5) Death should not be feared. Jesus said, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell” (Luke 12:4-5). Only the unbeliever should fear death, not the Christian.
In fact, Paul looked forward to death: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (1 Phil. 1:21-23).
6) Death reunites us with the departed in Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 says, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” While it is sad to lose a loved one, we have the hope of being reunited with them once more.
No one likes discussing death, but it’s an unavoidable part of life. Having a biblical view of death will also give us a greater understanding of our lives here on earth. Christians have nothing to fear since Christ has given us eternal life. But we must also make the most of our every moment on earth since our good deeds will be rewarded in eternity.
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?” – 1 Cor. 15:54-55