In Job 19:25–26, we read: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” We are all subject to death, whether you are a Christian or not. Scripture tells us that there is more than one meaning of death. Going back to Genesis, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit they died spiritually, which allowed sin to come into the world.
This allowed death to also come into the world. God told Adam and Eve, “For dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return” (Genesis 3:19). Even though they didn’t die that day, they had sinned against God so they died morally. Romans 8:6–8 says: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
The choice is ours: either we stay in the flesh which is against God, or we can be in the spirit which is with God. When we are in the flesh our relationship with God is destroyed and we die spiritually. When we die as a result of sin, we will experience eternal death. Eternal death means just that—it is eternal separation from God.
But none of us need to experience spiritual death. God made a way for us to escape this type of death. It is through His Son Jesus. By Jesus’ death, He reconciled us back to God the Father. Jesus reversed the spiritual separation of sin by His resurrection. Jesus broke the power of Satan, sin, and physical death. How did Jesus break the power of physical death if we still die? Scripture tells us that Christians will be resurrected to eternal life and those who didn’t accept Jesus as Savior will be resurrected to eternal death.
As Christians we look to death differently than those who do not believe. A Christian should not fear death but look forward to it. A Christian’s death is a transition from the pain and affliction of this world and the earthly body. On resurrection day, we will be clothed in a new body free from the old body’s aches and pains.
There is so much to look forward to when a Christian dies, more than we can imagine. When death comes we should rejoice for believers because they have fought the race and crossed the finish line of life. Does it hurt to lose them? Of course it does. If you are a Christian remember this: Even though we are saying goodbye to them, it is only temporary and the reunion will be even better.
The other side of the coin of death is spiritual death. We often overlook what is in store for those who don’t believe. In Luke 16:19–31, Jesus told a story about a rich man and Lazarus. The rich man had everything that the world had to offer. Lazarus, on the other hand, was poor and had sores on his body. Lazarus stayed by the rich man’s gate, begging to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. When Lazarus died, he was taken by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. Lazarus was right with God. The rich man died and was buried. His life was filled with riches, but he made the wrong choices in life. When he died, he looked up from Hell, being in torment.
He saw Abraham; Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom. The rich man cried out and said, “Have mercy on me. Send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.” Abraham replied, “Remember that during your lifetime you had all the good things and Lazarus the evil things. So now he is comforted and you are tormented.” Abraham then said, “Besides, there is a great gulf between us; no one can pass from either side to the other.”
The rich man said, “Send someone to my father’s house because I have five brothers. Tell them about this place lest they come here.” Abraham refused, because he said, “They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them. If they won’t hear Moses and the prophets they won’t be persuaded.”
This story that Jesus told is a true story that applies even today. The Christian is in Heaven upon death, and the unbeliever is in torment or Hell, just as Jesus said. The destinies of both the rich man and Lazarus were irreversible at death.
The choice of where we will spend eternity is ours alone to make. Have you made your choice? If you haven’t accepted Jesus as Savior, I encourage you to do so today. Once we take our last breath and close our eyes in death it will be too late to make that choice. Do you really want to wait?