For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. —Philippians 1:21
The first lesson the Bible teaches is that death is the punishment for sin. Death came into being only as the result of sin. If people had not sinned, they would have lived in their natural state forever. We have little idea what life would have been like, but what we do know is that when God created the world it was perfect: He created Adam and Eve perfect beings in His own image and likeness (Gen. 1:27). But once they sinned, things were never the same again, and death came into the world. Paul put it this way: " ... sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all men sinned" (Rom. 5:12). Then, in Romans 6:23, he added, "The wages of sin is death."
The second important lesson is that death is not the end. Because God created us in His image, He gave us souls that are immortal.
The third lesson the Bible teaches about death is that God Himself became man to deliver you and me from its clutches. So not only did God become man, but also as man He died for us all!
Here we find what perhaps is one of the most stupendous claims about Jesus: He came to deliver us from the fear of death.
The fourth lesson we learn from Scripture is that Jesus, the God-man, rose from the dead so that we too may one day have a resurrection. Jesus offers eternal life to everybody. How, then, should you handle the prospect of your own death? My answer is, act now; do not wait until it is too late. It is so simple. Acknowledge before God that you are a sinner; thank Him for sending His Son into the world to taste death for you (Heb. 2:9), and receive Him as your Savior. You may then face death without fear, for you will have eternal life.
Excerpted from A Vision of Jesus (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1999).
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