Contemplating death...

Carl Emerson

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Hi Folks,

As we age we consider end of life matters more seriously.

Recently I have come to understand a foundational truth that helps to put death into perspective.

I have come to realise that when God created man He designed them to be fit for purpose - and that purpose was to be eternally in fellowship with Him in heaven.

We see a hint of this in Ecclesiastes "He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, without the possibility that mankind will find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end."

So all mankind has 'living in eternity' built in and this is the intended outcome.

However Satan fell before the temptation in the Garden and hated the eternal purpose and status given to mankind and so waged war against God's purpose.

So loss of conscious awareness will not cease at death for two reasons. First because it is inbuilt in man for consciousness to continue, second how can we have a crowd of witnesses that are all asleep.

So the fear of death is a lie which all unbelievers are under.

Death itself is just transition, not to be feared.

Sadly many believers struggle with this.

Maybe if helps to understand that we are designed for eternal survival.

However when our creative Father saw the fall would happen, implemented a plan for our rescue by sending Jesus to reverse the consequences of the fall for those who believe.

As to the issue of 'soul sleep' it is a non issue if we realise that eternity is independent of time as we know it, so the witnesses consciously watch from the eternal realm.

Back in chronology, all will be resurrected to judgement when our earthly body substance will be transfigured to our new eternal bodies.

We were told not to fear the one who wants to destroy our bodies, his power does not extend to destroying our souls.

So take heart - He always wanted a people in eternal fellowship with Him - believe and you will be there with Him in a flash.

You were designed for it.
 

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Hi Folks,

As we age we consider end of life matters more seriously.

Recently I have come to understand a foundational truth that helps to put death into perspective.

I have come to realise that when God created man He designed them to be fit for purpose - and that purpose was to be eternally in fellowship with Him in heaven.

We see a hint of this in Ecclesiastes "He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, without the possibility that mankind will find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end."

So all mankind has 'living in eternity' built in and this is the intended outcome.

However Satan fell before the temptation in the Garden and hated the eternal purpose and status given to mankind and so waged war against God's purpose.

So loss of conscious awareness will not cease at death for two reasons. First because it is inbuilt in man for consciousness to continue, second how can we have a crowd of witnesses that are all asleep.

So the fear of death is a lie which all unbelievers are under.

Death itself is just transition, not to be feared.

Sadly many believers struggle with this.

Maybe if helps to understand that we are designed for eternal survival.

However when our creative Father saw the fall would happen, implemented a plan for our rescue by sending Jesus to reverse the consequences of the fall for those who believe.

As to the issue of 'soul sleep' it is a non issue if we realise that eternity is independent of time as we know it, so the witnesses consciously watch from the eternal realm.

Back in chronology, all will be resurrected to judgement when our earthly body substance will be transfigured to our new eternal bodies.

We were told not to fear the one who wants to destroy our bodies, his power does not extend to destroying our souls.

So take heart - He always wanted a people in eternal fellowship with Him - believe and you will be there with Him in a flash.

You were designed for it.
Well hey, we might die at any moment. Some dude in a Dodge pickup truck could pull out in front of us, and make our car crash (hopefully people drive better in NZ). So, we must not be fearful of death, cos we will be in Heaven with God and His son, Jesus along with our loved ones. On the other side of the token, we should have a healthy fear of dying young. Some folks take drugs, and may overdose, leading to death. Others may live recklessly, going 160 mph (250 km/h) on the autobahn, which actually sounds fun, but I do not drive cos of my poor executive functioning, nor do I live in Germany. These premature deaths* will cause family members to grieve, and also prevent the young souls from serving God to their fullest, but these people will still enter heaven as long as they believe in Jesus.


I. Fear Not of Dying:

As Christians, we have a unique perspective on the end of our lives on Earth based on the teachings of the Bible. According to the Scriptures, death is not an end but rather a transition from this earthly life to eternal life with God. The fear of death, also known as thanatophobia (Merriam-Webster definition link) in scientific terms, can be addressed through the reassuring promises found in the Bible.

Firstly, we have the assurance of salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. In John 14:1-3, Jesus says, "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also."

Secondly, we have the promise of resurrection and a new body free from sin and suffering. In 1 Corinthians 15:51-57, Paul writes, "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must cling to the imperishable, and the mortal to the immortal, so then, when the mortal has been clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: 'Death has been swallowed up in victory.' 'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Thirdly, we have the comfort of being with God and His love. In Psalm 23:4, David writes, "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

Furthermore, we have the hope of being reunited with our loved ones in Christ. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul writes, "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words."


II. *Great Big Disclaimer - Premature Deaths:

While we as Christians have the assurance of salvation and eternal life, it is important to remember that God values each moment of our earthly lives, and He calls us to live wisely and responsibly. The Bible teaches us about the importance of stewardship of our lives and the potential consequences of recklessness. Here are some Bible verses that speak to this:

1. Proverbs 29:18 - "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." This verse emphasizes the importance of having a clear direction and purpose in life. Living recklessly without regard for the consequences can lead to spiritual and physical destruction.

2. Proverbs 1:7 - "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." This verse highlights the importance of reverence and respect for God in all aspects of our lives. A healthy fear of the Lord can help us avoid reckless behavior that may lead to premature death or other negative consequences.

3. Proverbs 4:26-27 - "Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil." These verses encourage us to think carefully about our choices and to stay on a straight path. Reckless behavior, such as substance abuse or dangerous activities, can lead us away from the path of wisdom and righteousness.

4. Romans 13:12 - "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." This passage reminds us that our actions have consequences, both in this life and in eternity. A healthy fear of God can help us make choices that reflect His values and bring glory to Him.

5. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." These verses remind us that our bodies are valuable and sacred, given to us by God. We have a responsibility to take care of them and use them wisely. Reckless behavior that harms our bodies is a disregard for the gift of life that God has given us.

In summary, while as Christians we have the assurance of salvation and eternal life, it is crucial to remember that God values each moment of our earthly lives and calls us to live wisely and responsibly. We should have a healthy fear of premature death due to recklessness or other factors, as our actions have consequences in this life and in eternity. By honoring God with our lives and making choices that reflect His values, we can live fully and faithfully until the end of our earthly journey.
 
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BobRyan

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So loss of conscious awareness will not cease at death for two reasons. First because it is inbuilt in man for consciousness to continue, second how can we have a crowd of witnesses that are all asleep.
1 Thess 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as indeed the rest of mankind do, who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead, so also God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore, comfort one another with these words.

John 11:11 This He said, and after this He *said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going so that I may awaken him from sleep.” 12 The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will come out of it.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about actual sleep. 14 So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus died,
 
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Carl Emerson

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1 Thess 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as indeed the rest of mankind do, who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead, so also God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For we say this to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore, comfort one another with these words.

John 11:11 This He said, and after this He *said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going so that I may awaken him from sleep.” 12 The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will come out of it.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about actual sleep. 14 So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus died,

Verse 13 clearly says that the expression 'fallen asleep' was a common way to refer to death. The expression does not establish whether the deceased are conscious or not.

Further to this, what plays out in normal time is quite different than what plays out in eternal time. Crossing over into eternity is immediate but the resurrection in worldly time comes later.
 
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Carl Emerson

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We do not spend eternity in heaven, eternity is spent on the earth.

Jesus was not resurrected to earth and we are going to be with Him in one of the many mansions.
 
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Carl Emerson

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Can we reflect on the main proposition of the thread - the truth that were are created for eternity - that was God's intent from the beginning.

This understanding will give comfort to those worrying about facing some dark unknowing fuelled by the fear of death.

This is not an invitation to play scripture ping-pong with sectarian thought.

This has been thrashed out ad-nauseum many times prior.
 
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BNR32FAN

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Hi Folks,

As we age we consider end of life matters more seriously.

Recently I have come to understand a foundational truth that helps to put death into perspective.

I have come to realise that when God created man He designed them to be fit for purpose - and that purpose was to be eternally in fellowship with Him in heaven.

We see a hint of this in Ecclesiastes "He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, without the possibility that mankind will find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end."

So all mankind has 'living in eternity' built in and this is the intended outcome.

However Satan fell before the temptation in the Garden and hated the eternal purpose and status given to mankind and so waged war against God's purpose.

So loss of conscious awareness will not cease at death for two reasons. First because it is inbuilt in man for consciousness to continue, second how can we have a crowd of witnesses that are all asleep.

So the fear of death is a lie which all unbelievers are under.

Death itself is just transition, not to be feared.

Sadly many believers struggle with this.

Maybe if helps to understand that we are designed for eternal survival.

However when our creative Father saw the fall would happen, implemented a plan for our rescue by sending Jesus to reverse the consequences of the fall for those who believe.

As to the issue of 'soul sleep' it is a non issue if we realise that eternity is independent of time as we know it, so the witnesses consciously watch from the eternal realm.

Back in chronology, all will be resurrected to judgement when our earthly body substance will be transfigured to our new eternal bodies.

We were told not to fear the one who wants to destroy our bodies, his power does not extend to destroying our souls.

So take heart - He always wanted a people in eternal fellowship with Him - believe and you will be there with Him in a flash.

You were designed for it.
I hope I’m better looking in my new body
 
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Carl Emerson

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@Carl Emerson What do you think about my reflection on this?

Yes generally a good post but as one saved from premature death while in rebellion with God I am not sure that the elect have anything to worry about in this regard.
 
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Can we reflect on the main proposition of the thread - the truth that were are created for eternity - that was God's intent from the beginning.

This understanding will give comfort to those worrying about facing some dark unknowing fuelled by the fear of death.

This is not in invitation to play scripture ping-pong with sectarian thought.

This has been thrashed out ad-nauseum many times prior.
We are created for eternity. But we must also be careful on this Earth to take care of our temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
 
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AlexB23

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Yes generally a good post but as one saved from premature death while in rebellion with God I am not sure that the elect have anything to worry about in this regard.
What do you mean by elect? I did not mention any election in my post. By the way, I am Catholic.
 
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d taylor

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Jesus was not resurrected to earth and we are going to be with Him in one of the many mansions.
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I am always amazed how people are just going to believe what they want, who cares what The Bible says.
 
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Carl Emerson

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I am always amazed how people are just going to believe what they want, who cares what The Bible says.

If I didn't care what the bible says I would not have put more than 5 years aside to read it daily with devotion and prayer refusing any other input as my life was rebuilt.
 
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d taylor

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If I didn't care what the bible says I would not have put more than 5 years aside to read it daily with devotion and prayer refusing any other input as my life was rebuilt.
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Well you must have missed Revelation chapter 21, 22
 
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