Summary: There are two pieces, at least two parts of the human experience that every human will partake of: being born, and dying. That's right. The death rate for humans is 100%. I don't think people like to be reminded of that. It's a shocking thing to consider in fact.
There are two pieces, at least two parts of the human experience that every human will partake of: being born, and dying. That's right. The death rate for humans is 100%. I don't think people like to be reminded of that. It's a shocking thing to consider in fact.
We all like to pretend we're immortal. But the body dies. There are graveyards in every town and community testifying to that fact. Yet I've seen entire lives lived in rejection of that fact. I've seen entire stories of people who hide from that fact in their minds. Until the hospitals descend, and the grimaces of doctors tell the rest. We're surprised by death. Why? Maybe because death isn't normal.
Every human being born is afflicted with a disease. It's a disease so insidious that no one even gives it a second thought. It's accepted. Yet the human body seems when inquired of by medicine, to have an infinite ability to replenish itself. Cells in the body have the potential to reproduce and maintain the body structure forever. Yet for some reason between the ages of 25-30 the stasis of that period begins to descend into deterioration. Lines form on the face. Aches and pains begin to develop. More and more rest is required. Eventually skin wrinkles and hair turns gray, then white, then loose.
Death comes to us all. Many dodge the topic, yet I think we all seem to understand that death is a reality. Yet some starry eyed dreamers might still ask: "What is the cure to death?" Or:
"Where might I drink of the waters of the fountain of youth?"
But most simply ignore the fact, dodge the fact, bury the fact, and eventually when all other options are exhausted... they accept the fact.
Death is coming for all of us. That fact is indisputable. The question is, can man live forever? Is there such a thing as eternal life? The clock is ticking on every life. I think something like 100,000 people die worldwide per day. Is there life after death?
For the atheist the answer is most certainly no. A person does not live on. In fact for the atheist, in billions of years the stars of the universe will eventually burn themselves out and all life in the universe will vanish. And finally the great black nothingness of empty lifeless, light-less space. Entropy is complete. Is that really the ultimate reality? I don't think so.
For the Christian, we believe all people have souls made in the image of God, that live forever. Yet every person is appointed to die physically. Even Jesus Christ, God on Earth had to endure the suffering of physical death. The word of God says "Man is appointed once to die, and then comes the judgement" (Hebrews 9:27).
But the answer for Christians is yes, every person has value and every soul will live forever. The primary question of eternal life is the quality of that life which hinges on a theological concept called "the judgement seat of Christ."
Or as it's phrased in Corinthians: We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10
God the architect of the universe, the stars, the laws of space and time and the human soul will indeed one day bring into judgement every single person who has ever lived. I don't know that such a process is particularly surprising. One of the most fundamental aspects of the human experience is our interaction with conscience. We each have a sense of what is right and wrong. We wrestle with that aspect of ourselves throughout our entire lives. It's not surprising that a good God would indicate and enforce quality moral standards for his people. Imagine how perfect the world would be if everyone lived in moral perfection.
And so we come to the crux of our problem: Our own moral failings face to face with God's perfect standard.
Have you read through the various commands of the Old Testament? There are many, 613 in totak. Anyway, probably the most popular are the notorious "Ten Commandments." Shall we take a look?
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.