because of God's love
 

Life and death?

The answers everyone needs to know about life and death

by Gini Crawford, MSW
www.BecauseOfGod.com
8/27/2008

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Have you ever thought about what will happen to you when you die? I think a lot of people believe that when we die, we either decay in some type of so-called box, or we become a part of some good cosmic force in the universe.  However, the Jewish and Christian Scriptures teach the opposite.  They teach death is not end of us, because starting from our birth we are eternal beings! This means you either live on in a state the Bible calls eternal life with God, or live away from God, in eternal punishment.

What is eternal life? Eternal life means living with God in an eternal relationship. God created you to live with Him forever, not to die!

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.  Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

Where did death come from? The state of death began with the first sin in Genesis 3. God told our relatives, Adam and Eve, not to eat from a certain tree, and if they disobeyed Him and ate, death and its results would be introduced into the world.

And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV)

A world-wide nuclear war would have had less life changing effects on all of us than what Adam and Eve did! Their choice to disobey God brought sin and death to us all.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—Romans 5:12  (NIV)

What exactly is death?  Physical death is separation from our bodies. Spiritual death is separation from God.  The introduction of death into our world brought awful effects to our earthly bodies as we all know all to well!  Death also completely changed our eternal existence - instead of living with God we will live separated from Him in eternal punishment!

…to punish those who reject God…they will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord... 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 (GNT)  

What did God do to stop the horror of eternal punishment and death for you?   Jesus Christ, who is God Himself, stepped out of eternity to become one of us - to die by one of the most tortuous deaths humans could invent (crucifixion).  He did all of this so He could take the punishment of your sins (not His) upon Himself.  

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)

Why can you go from the state of death to eternal life?  Jesus Christ was born, lived and died to save us from our sins.

She (Mary) will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21 (NIV)
… that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures; that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures;   1 Corinthians 15:3-4   (GNT)

Jesus’ death on the cross paid the punishment for your sins so you can be forgiven and go from a state of death to eternal life.

And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.  This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.  1 John 4:9-10   (GNT)

How can you go from the state of death to eternal life? The only thing God asks you to do to have eternal life is to believe in the Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible.  That’s what makes you a Christian; nothing else can.   

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son (Jesus Christ), so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life.  For God did not send Jesus into the world to be its judge, but to be its Savior.  Those who believe in Jesus are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God's only Son.  John 3:16-18 (GNT)

Who is Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible?  The Bible teaches us that God is One God, but He exists eternally as three persons.  He is God the Father, God the Holy Spirit and God the Son. Jesus Christ is called God’s Son in many scriptures. (The word “Son” in the Greek language is an expression of character not of birth.)  Jesus Christ is the One True God who also became a sinless Man. As a Man, He became our substitute when He died for us on a cross, to pay the penalty for our sins. He also rose from the dead, which proved He is God.

 

It’s important to understand what believing means, since you need to believe in Jesus to have eternal life. Faith is the noun and believe is the verb.  These words mean to be firmly convinced or completely sure about someone or something.  This leads you to rely on or trust in that person or thing  

Some people think the word “believe” is a magical word, or some nebulous state of mind or feeling that gives them power. Yet in reality, belief should be based on knowledge that leads to action. When you believe in something you are saying, “This is my ‘truth’ from my perspective that affects my life.” For an example: I can say I believe my car can fly.  I can explain how I think it can fly. However, unless I am willing to drive my car off a cliff to prove to you it can fly, my belief is just a bunch of words, not what I truly believe in.    

Believing is made true by what or who your belief is in, such as, the numerous chairs you sit in everyday.  Most the time we have so much trust in those chairs, we just sit down without thinking, “will that chair hold me”.  It is pretty obvious unless you are crazy you wouldn’t drive your car off a cliff, because the belief your car can fly is false.  So we can certainly say, it is what we have belief in that makes a belief true! 

When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are putting our trust in the God of the universe. (He is the Creator of all that exists.  Yet, He loves us so much He died for us.). This belief means we are relying on Jesus to forgive our sins, giving us eternal life.  When you have true belief in Jesus Christ, your belief in Him will lead you to action (a changed life in Him)!

If you want to live eternally, then believe in Jesus Christ and what He did for you!  If you want to stay dead eternally and go to hell, then do nothing!

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