All our lifetime we are in a sense of bondage; much like a prisoner, with death hanging over his head. We are very fragile. Infections can come from something small enough to be unseen with the naked eye, causing us to become deathly sick and even die. Accidents can come from an airplane out of the sky or a car on the ground.
Wouldn’t it be great to live and not die; to not have to be concerned with funerals, hospitals, or doctor’s appointments? Living forever is not ours just yet. However many think they will live forever and never die, NOW. David hit the nail on the head when he said:
- And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Heb 2:15 (KJV)
- For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. 1 Chronicles 29:15 (KJV)
To me the most poignant statements regarding the brevity of our lives can be found in the book of Genesis:
- When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. 4 Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. 5 So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died. Gen 5:3-5 (NASB)
- Seth lived one hundred and five years, and became the father of Enosh. 7 Then Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after he became the father of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters. 8 So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. Gen 5:6-8 (NASB)
- Enosh lived ninety years, and became the father of Kenan. 10 Then Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years after he became the father of Kenan, and he had other sons and daughters. 11 So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years, and he died. Gen 5:9-11 (NASB)
- Kenan lived seventy years, and became the father of Mahalalel. 13 Then Kenan lived eight hundred and forty years after he became the father of Mahalalel, and he had other sons and daughters. 14 So all the days of Kenan were nine hundred and ten years, and he died. Gen 5:12-14 (NASB)
If God said all the days that Mahalalel lived were 895 years, who am I to say that he is still alive?
- All the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died. Gen 5:17 (NASB)
If God said all the days that Jared lived were 962 years, who am I to say that he is still alive?
- All the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years, and he died. Gen 5:20 (NASB)
If God said all the days that Methuselah lived were 965 years, who am I to say that he is still alive?
- All the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died. Gen 5:27 (NASB)
If God said all the days that Lamech lived were 777 years, who am I to say that he is still alive?
- All the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died. Gen 5:31 (NASB)
If God said all the days that Noah lived were 950 years, who am I to say that he is still alive?
- All the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died. Gen 9:29 (KJV)
The writer of Hebrews in the NT put it this way, relative to all those who had lived in faith:
- These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Heb 11:13 (KJV)
I AM SICK
Isaiah saw a time in the future when:
How often have we been awakened in the night by a little one saying “I’m sick”! Wouldn’t it be great to never get sick again; to not have to worry about medicine, hospitals, doctors, insurance deductibles and never again to be awakened in the middle of the night to those dreaded words, “I’m sick”? It seems with every breakthrough science makes in medicine; there are so many side-effects that require other medications to counteract the side-effects. If we do away with sickness and we’re on our way to doing away with death. We long for the fulfillment of the prophecy given by Paul. I want so much to be a part of those who sing that song; “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” One day in the future, a group of people who have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb, will blend together their voices in an anthem of praise which shall reverberate all over the earth. I want my voice to be one of those voices.
- And no resident will say, "I am sick"; Isaiah 33:24 (NASB)
- "O death , where is your victory ? O death , where is your sting?" 1 Corinthians 15:55 (NASB)
- He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." Rev 21:4 (NASB)
SHALL NEVER DIE
So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.7 Then after this He said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again." John 11:6-7 (NASB)
- Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.2 It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.3 So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick." John 11:1-3 (NASB)
- "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep."12 The disciples then said to Him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.14 So Jesus then said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead." John 11:11-14 (NASB)
This is the context, the story, in which the famous words, “Jesus wept” is found. John 11:35 Jesus had already said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him might not perish but have everlasting life.”
- Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" 27 She said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world." John 11:24-27 (NASB)
God was ahead of all of humanity. Everlasting life was his intention even before the foundation of the world.
“In the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,” Titus 1:2 (NASB) A command that God gave long ago. It is like the dew of Hermon Coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forever. Psalms 133:3 (NASB)
|Remember: God had driven Adam and Eve from the Garden following their sin lest they should take of the tree of life and eat thereof and live forever. It has never been God’s intention for humanity to live in sin, without dying. Notice:
But notice something else. The "tree of life" was in the midst of the Garden of Eden so that man might eat thereof and live forever. I want you to think today of the “tree of life”. It symbolizes our desire and the promise of God to us “to live without dying”; to live and not die. If Adam and Eve could have continued to eat of the tree of life, they would have been able to live without dying.
- Then the Lord God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life. Gen 3:22-24 (NASB)
The way of the tree of life is still guarded, but will one day be open to the nations to eat and to live forever.
- 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.' Rev 2:7 (NASB)
No, this is not talking about heaven. It is the paradise of God, the Garden of Eden restored on the earth; restored for the consumption of human beings who are no longer to be barred from eating of its fruit. “NO MORE CURSE”; what is that about?
- Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. Rev 22:1-5 (NASB)
That’s it. That’s the curse that will be no more: “returning to dust”. Among other things; it included mankind turning to dust again. V. 19 God is promising a time when the ground will no longer cover the dead; a time when the ground will give back the dead in it and the sea will give up the dead in it. Rev. 21:3,13
- Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. 18 "Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; 19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return." Gen 3:17-19 (NASB)
Listen to this prophecy. While it speaks of the rebirth of a nation it also speaks of the rebirth of humanity; the resurrection of the dead in vivid detail.
- The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. 3 He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord God, You know." 4 Again He said to me, "Prophesy over these bones and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.' 5 "Thus says the Lord God to these bones, 'Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. 6 'I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.' " 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise , and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 And I looked, and behold, sinews were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord God, "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life." 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army. Ezek 37:1-10 (NASB)
Paul spoke of this event, this time in his famous resurrection chapter:
Eternal life is not inherent in man. It is not natural to humanity. There is no little part or soul within us that will live forever and never die. Eternal life involves life from the grave. Everlasting life is something that must be given. Immortality must be put on. “The gift of God is eternal life.” Romans 6:23. To live and not die comes to us “through perseverance in doing good as we seek for glory and honor and immortality”. Romans 2:7 (NASB) John made it plain:
- Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable , and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory. 1 Cor 15:50-54 (NASB)
Murderers do not have eternal life, because eternal life must be given; it must be put on. “The wages of sin is death”. The unforgiven murderer will not live and not die. He therefore cannot live forever, either in heaven or hell. As an aside; In order for the unforgiven murderer to burn forever, he would have to live forever in order for him to burn forever. Romans 6:23. The old Platonic teaching of the never dying soul cannot be true. The Bible teaches “conditional immortality”; immortality on condition.
- Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15 (NASB)
Let me leave you with these words from Isaiah:
Let me remind you that if you do not believe on God’s Son our Lord and Savior you will surely perish; i.e. be destroyed, ruined, wiped out, die. But if you do believe on God’s Son, Jesus, and persevere in doing good, seeking for glory, honor and immortality; you will have opportunity to be crowned with the crown of glory that fadeth not away.
- That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes. 17 "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind . 18 "But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing And her people for gladness. 19 "I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying. Isaiah 65:16-19 (NASB)
- And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 1 Peter 5:4 (KJV)