Death entered the world as a consequence of Adam's sin. Before this the Garden of Eden, as well as the rest of this earth, was a paradise of beauty without even one flower dying. If Adam had not sinned, this condition would lave lasted forever, and what a very different world we would have today. Why, Adam would still be alive, and we would be able to talk with him in the Garden of Eden. But he did sin, and therefore what God said would happen if he touched the fruit of the forbidden tree also happen. That is, death entered the world. All men are appointed to die, but there is also a promise that all will live again.
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." 1 Thessalonians 4:13.
"Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." 1 Corinthians 15:18, 20.
"Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;" Psalms 13:3.
"And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose," Matthew 27:52.
"For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:" Acts 13:36.
"These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead." John 11:11-14.
"While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth." Mark 5:35, 39.
Note: In sound sleep one is wholly lost to consciousness; time goes by unmeasured; and the mental functions which are active during consciousness are suspended for the time being.
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7.
Note: God formed or shaped man from the dust of the earth. This form was still only dust and was not able to think or do anything. Next God breathed into him the breath of life. This breath of life is more than just the air in our lungs. It was the total life force which enables the heart to beat, lungs to breath, brain to think, and everything else we associate with life and makes the difference between one being dead or alive.
"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Ecclesiastes 12:7.
"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Daniel 12:2.
"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20.
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Ecclesiastes 9:10.
"So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep." Job 14:12.
"His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them." Job 14:21.
"His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." Psalms 146:4.
"For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Ecclesiastes 9:5.
"Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun." Ecclesiastes 9:6.
"The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence." Psalms 115:17.
"Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" Psalms 6:4, 5.
"For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand," Acts 2:34.
"And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." Luke 23:43.
"The first day of the week cometh Mary
Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth
the stone taken away from the sepulchre. . . .
Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my
Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my
Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."
John 20:1, 17.
Note: Jesus said this to Mary Magdalene on the Sunday morning after the crucifixion, after Jesus Christ arose from the grave. So if Jesus Christ did not go to heaven on the Friday he made the promise to the thief and on which He died, did Jesus fail to deliver His promise. The first thing that should be mentioned here is that to die on the cross usually took 2 or 3 days, but because the Sabbath was drawing near the priests requested that the legs of the two thieves be broken, and that they be taken down from the cross and that they be left somewhere to die. So the thief didn't die on that Friday and according the the above text Jesus Christ did not go to heaven until the Sunday after His resurrection. So what was this promise all about. Let me change the punctuation (as there was no punctuation in the original text) and see how it reads then. "Verily I say unto thee today, shalt thou be with me in paradise." So the promise was made to the thief on that Friday, that when Jesus Christ returned to take his loved ones home with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16) the thief would go to heaven or paradise.
"Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." Isaiah 26:19.
"As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." Psalms 17:15.
"For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." 1 Corinthians 15:16-18.
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:40.
"O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there." Psalms 139:1, 8.
Note: The word "sheol" from the Old Testament, is translated 31 times as hell, 3 times as pit and 31 times as grave. If refers to a place or state of the dead.
"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:" 2 Peter 2:9.
"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;" 2 Timothy 4:1.
"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:15.
"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." Revelation 20:14.
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Revelation 20:10.
"For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts." Malachi 4:1-3.
"And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them." Revelation 20:9.
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." Revelation 21:1.
Note: Sodom and Gomorrah were burned with eternal fire (Jude 7), but are they still burning. No! They burned until everything was consumed. Jeremiah prophecies that Jerusalem would be burned with a fire that could not be quenched. The fulfilment of this prophecy can be read in 2 Chronicles 36:19-21, where it describes the utter destruction and burning of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.
Commitment:- I believe that death is just a sleep from which everyone will one day be awakened. The righteous to everlasting life, the wicked to everlasting destruction (John 5:28, 29).
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28, 29.
© S. D. Goeldner, November, 2011. Last updated
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