What Does the Bible Say About Life and Death?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 4, 2018 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

If you’re reading this post, then you definitely know something about life, because, well, you’re alive. But we all have to deal with death in our lifetime too - the death of friends, family members, and other loved ones, and ultimately facing our own death at some point. This can be hard to deal with, so as followers of Jesus we should be looking to Him and His Word for answers. So what does the Bible say about life and death?

First, let’s start with life. We know that God created us and gave us life (Genesis 2:4-25). But because mankind messed up and turned away from God (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12), we all deserve death but can have life through faith in the work of Jesus (Romans 6:23; John 3:16-17; John 14:6). Because of this faith, we strive to live our lives as God wants us to, in obedience to Him (Romans 12:2).

But what about death? We will all die a physical death as our bodies wear out or some sort of trauma happens to cause it. But if we have faith in Jesus, then we don’t need to fear the physical death, because then we will be able to live in close communion with God forever. However, if we don’t have faith in Jesus, then we should be very afraid because we’ll spend eternity completely separated from God. Matthew 10:28 says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Check out these links for more on what the Bible says about heaven and hell.

In the story about the death of Lazarus (brother to Mary and Martha) in John 11, Jesus tells Martha, ““I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (verses 25-26). Lazarus died a physical death, Jesus raised him back to life, and however many years later, Lazarus still had to die another physical death. But if he had faith in Jesus as we believe he did, then he didn’t have to fear the physical death because he would live forever with Jesus.

That’s the good news - Jesus is Lord over both the living and the dead! Romans 14:7-9 says, “For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.”

1 Corinthians 15:51-58 gives us confidence that Jesus has victory over death, and He shares that victory with us! This passages quotes Hosea 13:14, which says, “I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?”

How do we live in this victory over death? By living the life that Christ calls us to and living out our faith in Him. Romans 8:13 says, “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”

We see from his writings that the Apostle Paul wrestled with this concept of life and death a lot - likely because he was often imprisoned and the threat of physical death was an ever-present reality in his world. In Philippians 1:21-24 he writes, “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; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”

When you are a follower of Jesus, death is not something to be feared. Be encouraged by more words on this from Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:6-9: “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” Physical death is leaving this world, but it is also being united with Jesus forever!

To close, this truth from John in 1 John 5:12 pretty well sums it up: “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Be mindful of that as you go about however many days God has given you on this earth.

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