Okay, I think I am back on task now. I have been sharing studies on Biblical Doctrine, taught by our Preacher Carroll at our church. The next doctrine in the series is the Doctrine of Death. I will bet not many are aware of this doctrine, but it is taught in God’s Word and it is very important in helping us understand God and His Word, and the story of creation.
I. What is Death?
A. Death is the departure of the spirit from the body in humans and animals. Ecclesiastes 3:21 “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” I used to think that my beloved pets went to Heaven when they died; as children need to believe, I guess. I even read a some of a book once, that said it was based on the Bible, that tried to prove that our pets go to Paradise when they die, but I learned that it was just a lot of verses taken out of context to try and prove the author’s point. Although there will be animals in Heaven, they will not be our departed pets.
James 2:26 “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
When the little maid came back to life, her spirit came back into her: “And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.” (Luke 8:53-55)
When Stephen was stoned to death, he gave up his spirit: “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59)
The phrase “gave up the ghost” is found 19 times in Scripture. The word “ghost” comes from the same word that is translated “spirit.” Notice both words were alike in Luke 23:46: “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”
B. Death is also the departure of the soul from a human. There are two invisible beings inside of us: a spirit and a soul. When Jesus died on the Cross, His spirit went to Heaven (Luke 23:46), and His soul went into hell “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” (Acts 2:27, 31) The spirit and soul are distinctly different and both leave the body at death: 1 Kings 17:21-22, “ And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.” Animals do not have souls, only humans do. Animals have spirits.
II. Why is there Death?
A. God promised that man would die if disobedient to His commandment, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
B. Man disobeyed the law of God and sinned, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:6) “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4)
C. Death came by that sin, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12) Man became corrupt because of Adam’s willing disobedience. That corrupted nature has been passed on down to all of us. We have become not only sinners by nature (birth), but also sinners by choice. Not just Adam, but all like him have chosen to sin. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23) “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
And the wages of sin is death: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
Not only did death come to mankind by Adam’s sin, but the whole creation came under the curse of sin. This is why plants and animals get old, sick, and die. “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:17-19) “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaleth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22)
Because death came by sin, the believer in the Lord must reject the theory of evolution or the gap theory. These teach that man, plants, and animals evolved after millions of years of life, death, and changes. The Bible teaches that death came after man sinned, not before.
- Prophecy: The Serpent (someonewholovesjesus.wordpress.com)
- The Power of Choice (terencemuringisi.org)
- The Spirit of Man (cindylivingstoneministries.wordpress.com)
- What Christians Actually Believe. (justifaith.wordpress.com)