TEEN TREE OF LIFE

The Doctrine of Death

Part 1

January 29, 2017

BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (PHI 1:21) This incredible statement by the apostle Paul is not a reference to all believers. He is specifically referring to himself as a mature believer. This statement is true in the life of the mature believer only. If you’re not spiritually mature, neither living nor death is a profitable experience. It is only the mature believer who leaves this world in dying grace and considers the experience a promotion. And this is who is referenced in this verse. It is the mature believer or the believer in spiritual adulthood who lives a meaningful, loving, and enjoyable existence. The verb “to live” points to the enjoyment and love of real life. It also points to an active life full of vigor which comes from knowing that all in life (and death) is secure in Christ Jesus.

Unfortunately for the most part, death has always created fear and anxiety in people. This fear of the unknown, places them in bondage. HEB 2:14 (The Message Bible) says this:  Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death.  Essentially, Satan keeps people enslaved throughout their entire lives by way of fear of death. It is therefore important to know what the Word of God teaches concerning the subject of death.

There are at least eight categories of death noted in the Bible: spiritual death; physical death; positional death; carnal or cosmic death; production mortality (a.k.a. dead works); sexual death; The Second death; and the Sin Unto Death.

Let’s first look at physical death. The real you is your soul not your physical body. Your present physical body is a temporary housing for your soul. At physical death, the soul is transferred to an incorruptible body, first the interim body until the Rapture and then the resurrected body after the Rapture.

The unbeliever is dichotomous: consisting of body and soul; the believer in Christ is trichotomous: consisting of body, soul, and human spirit. The believer receives a human spirit at the moment of Salvation and this is how God’s Spirit fellowships with man. The soul of the unbeliever is what lives forever and ever; for the believer, the soul and spirit exist forever. When physical death occurs, it affects the physical body only. Physical death has nothing whatsoever to do with the soul and spirit. The mature believer knows this and so considers his physical death profit or a promotion in that it secures a great victory toward the fantastic eternal rewards promised by God. But the unbeliever or the believer who is not educated in God’s Word lives out his life in fear of that which he does not know, i.e., death. This lack of knowledge is due in full to the individual’s own rejection of God’s Word and God’s Plan. This lack of knowledge leaves unbelievers (and the majority of believers) in an uncertain and apprehensive state concerning what happens to them after physical death.

Many believers claim throughout their lives to have faith but when it is put to the test in the face of death, they are suddenly stricken with an immobilizing fear. On the other hand, the mature believer is confident that the death of his physical body, which houses the Old Sin Nature, is left behind and his soul and spirit are promoted to heaven! The soul of the unbeliever upon physical death is transferred to its interim body in a place known as Hades. Then at the end of human history, they are brought forth to the Great White Throne Judgment (for unbelievers only) and issued their resurrection bodies and are thereafter cast into the eternal lake of fire, forever separated from God. This judgment is based on the unbelievers’ rejection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ as their Personal Savior while on earth.

So, physical death happens to the physical body and is a matter of the Sovereign Decision of God, based on His Perfect Knowledge and Perfect Timing: Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah. God is to us a God of deliverances; And to God the Lord belong escapes from death. (PSA 68:19-20) Physical death does not separate the believer from God: For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ROM 8:38-39) You should remember that verse and think of it whenever you’re afraid or stressed!!

Another important thing to remember is that physical death means being face to face with the Lord: …we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. ( 2CO 5:8) Physical death also means the end of pain: “… and 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) Physical death results in an eternal inheritance: to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1PE 1:4-5); a new home: Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (JOH 14:1-6); and realizing what eternal life is all about: “…and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (JOH 10:28); 20:31.

Physical death secures a great victory and that is how it should be viewed. The sting of death has been removed by our Lord Jesus Christ: O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1CO 15:55-57) If you understand what heaven is all about, what eternity holds and what the Word of God promises, you will not live in fear of death!

{to be continued}

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