Death

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People are destined to die once. . .Hebrews 9:27

After church a group of friends were sitting around the fellowship hall, finishing off the last of the desserts and coffee. The sermon had them all talking. . .about death!

The pastor challenged everyone to think about death. “What will it bring? Are you sure you are ushered into the presence of Christ just after your last breath? Is death on earth the end or could there be another life-experience that follows? There are some ‘religions’ that believe we experience something called reincarnation which means:

The religious or philosophical concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death can begin a new life in a new body.

“Although that may sound exciting and full of promise, how does it line up with what the Bible teaches? Does the Bible imply that Jesus died on the cross for our sins in more than one life? If that is true, and we were reincarnated, would our statement of faith follow us into the next life? Understanding the bible provides the key to these and any other life or death questions.”

Hebrews 9:27 Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God.

This simple verse declares with authority that every person must die once. Just as Jesus himself died physically to offer the ultimate sacrifice for sins forever, we too will die once.

Genesis 3:19 All your life you will sweat to master it, until your dying day. Then you will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from the ground, and to the ground you will return.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

1Thessalonians 4:15-16  I can tell you this directly from the Lord: that we who are still living when the Lord returns will not rise to meet him ahead of those who are in their graves. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a mighty shout and with the soul-stirring cry of the archangel and the great trumpet-call of God. And the believers who are dead will be the first to rise to meet the Lord.

Revelation 6:9-10  Then the Lamb broke open the fifth seal. I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed because they had proclaimed God’s word and had been faithful in their witnessing. They shouted in a loud voice, “Almighty Lord, holy and true! How long will it be until you judge the people on earth and punish them for killing us?”

Philippians 1:21-24  For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying—well, that’s better yet! But if living will give me more opportunities to win people to Christ, then I really don’t know which is better, to live or die! Sometimes I want to live, and at other times I don’t, for I long to go and be with Christ. How much happier for me than being here! But the fact is that I can be of more help to you by staying!

Job 19:25-27  “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And I know that after this body has decayed, this body shall see God! Then he will be on my side! Yes, I shall see him, not as a stranger, but as a friend! What a glorious hope!”

1 Corinthians 15:51-53  But I am telling you this strange and wonderful secret: we shall not all die, but we shall all be given new bodies! It will all happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For there will be a trumpet blast from the sky, and all the Christians who have died will suddenly become alive, with new bodies that will never, never die; and then we who are still alive shall suddenly have new bodies too. For our earthly bodies, the ones we have now that can die, must be transformed into heavenly bodies that cannot perish but will live forever.

“As we can see,” the pastor continued, “God has created all humans and has established a process, a life-cycle that ends in our death…unless Jesus returns first. But this death is only the death of our bodies, not our soul. As Jesus was resurrected from his grave, so shall we who believe experience a resurrection into eternal life.

If God had planned for us to live again, as another person, he would have explained the process to us in the Bible. However, there is nothing in the Bible about dying and coming back as different people, over and over. When would that end? No, God’s plan is for us to understand who he is, how much he loves us, that he has given Jesus to die for our sins and that he has prepared a special place for us with him in eternity. Better than reincarnation here on earth, condemned to living difficult lives over and over, Christians have the promise of a sinless, perfect life, forever with God!

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