Death in the 21st Century

During the past week three cultural icons learned a very important lesson about life here on this earth: it comes to an end. Death is never a comfortable subject to discuss, especially for the generation in which we live; however, the passing of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson forces us to think about death, and that is a positive thing. Our culture does its best to trivialize death by putting forth such axioms as, “he who dies with the most toys, wins,” but a better understanding would be a bumper sticker that I will never forget seeing: “he who dies with the most toys, still dies.” So, how should mankind view death?

First of all, we should accept the fact that death is not natural. It is not a part of the “circle of life” as The Lion King would have us believe. Death is actually an intruder upon earth which was given entrance because of man’s sin. As Paul wrote in the Book of Romans, “Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12) The Westminster Confession of Faith, in its accustomed precise manner states:

Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal.” (WCF VI.vi)

In other words, we are not only responsible for the sin of Adam, but for our own sin. And, as Paul reminds us, “wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23)

Second, we should accept the fact that, unless Christ returns during our lifetime, we will all face death. The Bible clearly states that “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” (Heb. 9:27) There is no escaping death. Don’t misunderstand what I am trying to say; I am not calling for some grand morbidity to cast a shadow over every waking moment of our lives, but I am calling for people to come to grips with reality. Life is not similar to a video game in which every time we are killed, we are able to hit reset and start again. When death enters, it comes to stay. It is either the doorway to eternal bliss through Christ, or to the eternal torment that we have earned because of our own sin.

Last of all, we should realize that the answer to death is found in the grace of God. As we read in 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive,” and the words that Jesus said to Martha give to us great hope, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26) Our hope, our victory over death, and our eternal life is to be found in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. Trust in the promise of God’s Word that “if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:17)

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2 Comments

  1. revkev1967 said,

    June 26, 2009 at 7:19 PM

    Great post and thanks to linking through Facebook. I will add you to my blogroll.

  2. Mandy said,

    June 28, 2009 at 2:21 AM

    Very well put!


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