One of the uncontested truths in the Bible is about death. The Bible mentions that it is God who gave life and death will come to those who were given lives because it is man’s destination. We will die a physical death. (Heb 9:27) And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment.
And since death will come and is already appointed to us, no one can add even a single minute or second on his life, except of course to God. (ISV) Can any of you add a single hour to the length of your life by worrying? (Mat. 6:27)
We all know that death will come to us but no one really knows when it will come to us. (Ecc 9:5-6) For the living know that they shall die; but the dead do not know anything, nor do they have any more a reward; for their memory is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; nor do they any longer have a part forever in all that is done under the sun.
When we die, we no longer have connection with anything in this life that we have. Thus, the Bible says we do what our hands find us to do while we still live. We cannot do anything when we are dead. (Ecc 9:10) Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work, nor plan, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave where you go.
But not all the things we want to do are a rightful thing to do. Not all are righteous in the sight of God. Let us be reminded that whatever we do, think, say and live for in this life will eventually be weighed by God and all the things we do have corresponding punishment or reward.
There are two options given to us – life and death. This is not literal life or death as we know it. (GNB) I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and God’s curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life. (Deut. 30:19)
To dwell in the true life, which is the eternal life, the Bible advises, In this way they will store up for themselves a treasure which will be a solid foundation for the future. And then they will be able to win the life which is true life. (1Ti 6:19)
How did the Bible explain this solid foundation that we should store up for?
How can we make sure that this life will lead to the true life? Why true life?
It is called true life because the life we have now is not what God desired us to have. This life is only temporary. True life is for those who follow God’s will, a life that never ends, life without trials, sufferings and tears.
How can we receive true life?
True life is for those who lived according to the purpose of God. There is no other way. God’s purpose for us is to walk on His commandments and to fear Him. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.(Ecc. 12:13)
We give pleasure to God if we walk in His ways and commands, same thing if we come to serve Him. (1 Pe 2:4-5) As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Thus, the primary duties of servants are to give glory, give honor and give veneration to God. (1Pe 2:9) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
If we can live the purpose of our existence, then we are worthy to have the true and eternal life. Physical death may come to us, but if we walked according to the desired purpose of God, then our death will become important to Him. (Psalms 116:15) Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.
How can we make sure that our death will become precious in the sight of God?
There are many servants in the Bible whose deaths can be considered as precious and important in the sight of the Lord. They lived according to the ways of God and died keeping their faith. They died defending their faith in God.
Some of the examples of these servants were written in Hebrews 11: 35-40. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning;they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Jesus Christ should be our model of absolute obedience in the will of God. (1Pe 2:21-23) To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
Its important that we keep our faith whatever may happen or whatever we experience in life. The Bible is clear in saying, (Rev. 2:10) … Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
And if we loose life because of faith, this will mean we are worthy of the promised true and eternal life. Jesus promised, (Mat. 16:25) For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
Not many people understand their purpose in this world. Some spend their lives according to their own ways and not according to the ways of the Lord. This is the reason why many people were not able to give pleasure to Him.
Living in this life is not that easy. There are many sufferings, travails and tests that we need to experience. Every one goes through these sufferings, rich or poor, even faithfuls or not. According to Job, “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. (Job 14:1)
But God is a merciful God.
He wouldn’t let His children suffer. He is always there to lend His helping hands especially in times of need. All we need is to have faith to overcome all the sufferings that we need to experience. Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(John 6:33)
What will happen to those who spend their lives according to their own ways?
Not all people walked according to God’s purpose. People who walked according to their own pleasure will never be righteous before God. Some of them spend their lives without even giving importance to life itself. They just wasted their lives in doing whatever that pleased them.
Life is only borrowed and temporary. It is not ours actually. Life belongs to God. We should not treat it like it belongs to us and spend it anyway we want it.
Some loved this life so much, that it seems they are not willing to give it back to the One who gave it. They were strongly attached in this world and embraced its worldly lusts. Some became rich in this life but not rich in God.
Some lived fearlessly without giving respect to the life leased to them. They used themselves wickedly even if they know that there will be eternal consequences of what they are doing with their lives now.
We will all present this life before God, and surely, there will be consequences. We will pay for everything we have done, be it good or bad, hidden or visible. (Ecc 12:14) For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
The Bibles tells that there are people who are always inclined to death rather than life. We are speaking of the spiritual life and death. (Prov. 2:18-19) for her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.
(Rev 20:14) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
What do we need to learn on this topic?
If we have common sense, we’ll choose life over death.
God’s design for us is to have eternal and true life with Him in heaven. But this will only happen if we walk according to His will. We loose that opportunity if we choose to obey our selves instead of His ways.
Paul says, we must not live according to ourselves but according to the Lord’s will. (Romans 14:7-8) 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.
Let us all be happy serving the Lord in all the days of our lives, just like what the early servants of God did during their times. And whatever happens, we continue to be firm, standing in our faith, conquering everything because of God.
We are destined for eternal life.
(1Ti 6:12) Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Live for the eternal.