The Time Of Death

Introduction:

1. Why should death be a subject included in the Christian Inconnect Bible study on The Last Things?

a. Because death is the end of life and is therefore a last thing?

b. Because death is a part of life, the last part, which we need to understand?

c. Because death is the last thing we need to prepare ourselves for?

d. Because death as our final end raises a lot of questions we would like to have answers to?

e. Other?

2. Death is a relevant topic in our day and age.  The news for years has covered the subject of assisted suicides.  The legality of assisted suicides has been proposed in state legislatures.  The moment of death is a vital concern in the medical fields and courts to determine whether a person is “brain dead,” or when and whether a life support system may be turned off.  Then there are near-death or after-death experiences, which have been the subject of books and articles.

Aim:

The aim of this lesson is to explore what the Scriptures teach us about death, and what we can expect, as well as to discuss related topics that are relevant to our times.

Searching the Scriptures:

1. What should we know about the nature of death?

a. Death is considered by the world to be a natural part of life.  But is death really natural?  Let us consider whether death is natural in light of the account of man’s creation and the following verses.  We then discover that death is not natural nor a natural part of life, because death had not been a part of God’s plan for life in the beginning.  God created the human race to live, not to die.  And he gave the human race the necessities of life, so people could live, not die.  Death, therefore, is not natural.  It is unnatural in that it came into existence as a consequence of sin and as a punishment for sin.

Genesis 1:26-29: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. And let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the domestic animals, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that crawls upon the earth. 27 So God created the man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that crawls upon the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I give to you every plant yielding seed that is upon the surface of all the earth and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed. It will be food for you.

Genesis 2:7, 16, 17: Then the Lord God formed the man of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. In this way the man became a living being. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat from every tree of the garden; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it, you will surely die.”

Romans 5:12: Therefore, just as by one man the sin entered into the world and the death by the sin, even so the death passed through to all men because all sinned.

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

b. The Bible speaks of different kinds of death.

The first kind of death is physical death, as is clear from the following verses:

Genesis 5:5: So all the days of Adam which he lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.

Luke 23:46: And calling out in a loud voice, Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” After having said this, he breathed his last.

Ecclesiastes 12:7: Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

The second kind of death is spiritual death, as is clear from the following verses:

Ephesians 2:1, 2, 5: And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the characteristic ways of this world, according to the ruler of the domain of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience . . .5 even when we were dead in sins . . .

1 Peter 4:6: For this reason the gospel was preached even to the dead, that they may be judged in the flesh according to men but may live in the spirit according to God.

Luke 9:60: But he said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead. But you, go, proclaim far and wide the kingdom of God.”

John 5:25: Truly, truly, I say to you that a time is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

The third kind of death is eternal death, as is clear from the following verses:

John 11:26: . . . all who live and believe in me shall absolutely never die.

John 5:24: Truly, truly I say to you that he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life, and he does not come into condemnation but has passed over from death into life.

Revelation 2:11: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall absolutely not be harmed by the second death.

Revelation 20:6, 14: Blessed and holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years . . . 14 And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death – the lake of fire.

c. When God created mankind, he bestowed his blessings on him.  For mankind’s physical life God created a perfect heavens and earth with a garden paradise to dwell in, complete with all that the human race needed for its livelihood and its rule over the other creatures God had made.  For mankind’s spiritual life God made the human race in his own image, so people could live in close fellowship with him and enjoy the blessedness of being with their Creator God.  For mankind’s everlasting life God gave the human race an immortal soul and a body, so that as living beings people could enjoy his blessings forever.  When death entered the world because of sin, however, all this changed, and mankind was separated from his Creator God and from his enjoyment of God’s blessings.  This is clear from the following verses:

Isaiah 59:2: But your iniquities have caused a separation between you and your God.

Matthew 7:23: And then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you! Depart from me, you who perform lawlessness!”

Matthew 25:41: Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you accursed ones, into the eternal fire that has been kept in readiness for the devil and his angels.”

In this first section we have discovered that death is not natural, but unnatural.  It was not originally a part of God’s perfect creation.  It came into the world as a consequence of sin.  What is more, death is a separation from God and his blessings, whether it be physical, spiritual, or eternal death.

2. How encompassing is death?

a. Romans 5:12 tells us that all people are subject to death, for all people are sinners.

Romans 5:12: Therefore, just as by one man the sin entered into the world and the death by the sin, even so the death passed through to all men because all sinned . . .

b. Poets have called death The Grim Reaper, because it claims everyone without partiality, and it brings its tragedy to all alike.

c. Through the ages men have dreamed of finding the source of eternal life.  Spanish explorers like Ponce de Le’on searched for the Fountain of Youth in America and the West Indies – a legendary spring which was supposed to restore health and youth to those who drank from it.  The Holy Grail – the cup supposed to have been used by Christ to institute the Lord’s Supper – has been glamorized as having the power to give eternal life to the one who drank from it.  Some people have dreamed of, and have tried, freezing their bodies in the hope of being brought back to life one day.  Health foods and prescribed lifestyles have been suggested to prolong life and to thwart the advent of death.  Apart from Christ’s coming to usher in eternal life, what is the possibility of someone’s escaping death?  Consider the verses below.

Psalm 89:48: What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his soul from the hand (figurative for power) of Sheol (abode of the dead)?

The implied answer to the question of Psalm 89:48 is that no one can live and not die to escape from the grave.  Escaping death is impossible for everyone.  All people are like the grass of the field, as various verses of the Bible state, like Psalm 103:15, 16 below.  People’s life is short, and then it is over.  Like the grass, they are here today and gone tomorrow.

Psalm 103:15, 0016: As for man, his days are like grass, As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 But truly the wind passes over it and it is gone, And its place knows it no more.

d. Individuals hope for medical discoveries that will find a cure for their disease and prevent their death.  No doubt, modern medicine has made amazing advances, which we can look upon as blessings from God.  In spite of these advances, however, the mortality rate remains 100%.

e. There is but one hope for deliverance from death, Christ, who has destroyed death and the power of the devil to enslave mankind in death through sin, as the following verses reveal to us:

2 Timothy 1:10: . . . but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, . . .

Hebrews 2:14, 15: Since then the children have flesh and blood, he himself also in just the same way partook of the same, in order that by means of death he might do away with him who holds the power of death, that is the devil, 15 and free those who were subject to slavery by a fear of death through all of life.

In this second section of this Bible study we have discovered that death encompasses all.  No one can escape death except through Christ, who destroyed death by his atoning death on the cross.

3.What may be known about near-death, or out-of-body, experiences?

a. Pliny the Elder (ca. 24-79 A.D.) was a Roman aristocrat and writer who scoffed at the notion of a life after death.  He considered the idea about an afterlife a childish fiction, an absurdity.  He also stated that the thought of preserving the body and having the hope of coming to life again was a vanity.  It so happened that Pliny lived in the first century during the time of the Apostle Paul’s mission work.  Pliny’s skepticism reflects the mind of the philosophers Paul faced at Athens.  See Acts 17:16-21 & 32.

b. Religions of all kinds and of all ages have held a belief in a life after death.  Hinduism has believed in reincarnation   The ancient Egyptians held a belief in a life after death, as is evident from the pharaohs’ great tombs and pyramids in which they stored their valuables and treasures for use in their after life.  The ancient Greeks held to a belief of a life after death.  The Greek Elysian Fields in mythology was the place assigned to virtuous people after death.  It was a place of ideal bliss, complete happiness, and a paradise yielding the highest pleasures and delights.

Mohammed’s concept of heaven is described in the 56th chapter of the Koran as a garden of delights where the faithful will recline on couches, with immortal youths going around them with goblets and ewers.  There the faithful can eat whatever fruits and flesh of fowl they may desire, and enjoy the pleasures of the most beautiful virgins who are endowed with an unfading youth.

The ancient Germans and Norsemen believed in Valhalla, which in Norse mythology was a great hall where Odin received and feasted the souls of heroes who had fallen bravely in battle.  Valhalla, also Walhalla, or Valhall, is said to be any final resting place of many of the heroes or great men of a nation.

Some of the American Indian tribes believed in the happy hunting grounds for brave warriors that was supposed to be a paradise of hunting and unlimited game.

c. The conscience is the inner voice in people that urges them not to offend their Maker to whom they must give an account.  This knowledge of accountability to God upon death in the next life is within the heart of people.  Within people’s hearts is a longing for immortality, an eternal bliss after death.

d. Near-death, or out-of-body, experiences play upon people’s hope for a blissful afterlife.  Persons who have been close to death but were resuscitated and brought back to life claimed that they entered the realm of the dead and saw what lies on the other side of the curtain of death.  They heard their doctors pronounce them dead and found themselves outside of their own bodies as spectators of the attempts to revive them.  Their bodies were different and possessed different powers than they had had.  They saw the spirits of others who had died before them.  They also had a warm, loving spirit of light appear to them.  They came to a barrier between earthly life and the next life.  They had to go back to life on earth, because the time of their death had not yet come, which they resisted as a result of their having experienced what the afterlife was like, and they were somehow reunited with their physical bodies and were restored to life.  For a detailed description of the near-death, out-of-body, experience, see Dr. Raymond A. Moody’s book Life After Life.

Were these experiences an illusion or a reality?  According to some experts these experiences might be caused by such things as a lack of oxygen to the brain or to the effects of drugs and medications.  If this were the case, these experiences would be only hallucinations.  Yet it has been claimed that there are some experiences that defy medical explanations and could be classified as paranormal experiences.

The Bible tells us of instances when a person was given a glimpse of what lies beyond life in this world.  We call those instances visions, in which the person was allowed to see the glory of God.  When we compare what the Bible tells us was seen in those visions into the other world to what those who have had near-death experiences claim to have seen in the next world, we see that what the Bible describes is vastly different from what those who have had near-death experiences claimed to have seen.  What individuals claim to have seen is nothing like having seen the glorified Christ and Lord.  Read the following verses:

Acts 7:55, 56:  But being filled with the Holy Spirit and looking intently into heaven, he saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and he said, “Behold! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

2 Corinthians 12:1-4: Boasting is necessary. While surely it is not profitable, yet I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows – such a man was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows – 4 that he was caught up to paradise and heard words too sacred to tell, which are not permitted for a man to speak.

Revelation 1:9-16: ¶ I, John, your brother and fellow participant in the tribulation and kingdom and patient expectation that are in Jesus, was on the island that is called Patmos because of the word of God and testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, 11 saying, “What you see write in a book and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamum, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.

¶ 12 And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me; and when I had turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching down to the feet and encircled around his chest with a golden belt. 14 What is more, his head and his hair were white like white wool, like snow, and his eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 And his feet were like fine bronze when it has been made red hot in a furnace. 16 And he was holding in his right hand seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp, double-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in its power.

Revelation 4:1-6: After these things I looked, and behold a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice that I had heard, like a trumpet speaking with me, was saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after these things. 2 At once I was in spirit; and behold a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne, 3 and the One sitting was like a jasper stone and carnelian in appearance, and a rainbow like an emerald in appearance was all around the throne. 4 And encircling the throne were twenty-four thrones, and upon the thrones twenty-four elders were sitting, being clothed in white garments, and golden crowns were upon their heads. 5 And out from the throne came flashes of lightning and rumblings and thunderclaps; and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal.

Revelation 7:9-12: After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one was able to count, from all nations and tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and holding palm branches in their hands; 10 and they are crying out with a loud voice: “Salvation is our God’s, who sits on the throne, and the Lamb’s.” 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell down on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, 12 saying:“Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever.  Amen!”

We are led to believe that typically the near-death experiences are pleasant and heavenly.  What is more, we are told that all alike, regardless of their religion, have this same blessed experience.  That is not what the Scriptures teach, however.  The assertion that all people, regardless of their religion, will have a blessed after-life experience is false.  The Scriptures teach just the opposite – not everyone ends up in heaven.

The devil would foster such a falsehood about what life after death is like.  He would be behind the illusion that after death everyone will have a heavenly end.  For the devil is the father of lies, who disguises himself as an angel of light, as John 8:44 and 2 Corinthians 11:14 state below.  The bright, warm light, then, that is seen in the near-death experiences might just be the devil in disguise.

John 8:44: Surely you are from your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks out of his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.

2 Corinthians 11:14: And no wonder, for Satan himself disguises himself as an angel of light.

Contrary to the heavenly reports that have been given, Dr. Maurice Rawlings, in his book Beyond Death’s Door, has reported that about half of the near-death cases reported horrible hell-like experiences of a fiery abyss and a place of torture.  He attributes the lack of such reports to the failure to interview the individuals immediately after their revival and to their subconscious then blocking out or forgetting the bad experience and impressions.  It is no wonder that he contends that unless a person knows where he is going, it is unsafe to die.

e. Assuming some cases are supernatural experiences of life after death, we should judge them and the conclusions made about them on the basis of God’s Word, as Isaiah 8:19, 20 below urges us to do.  God’s Word tells us there are a heaven and a hell, where the souls of the dead proceed according to whether they believed in Jesus or not.  Any conclusions drawn from near-death experiences that contradict the Word of God must be regarded as heretical lies coming from the devil, who is the father of all lies, as stated in John 8:44 above.

Isaiah 8:19, 20: And when they shall say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God?  Should they consult the dead for the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.

f. Some consider reports of the heavenly near-death experiences as a comforting sign to assure them of their eternal life.  But they could be false signs from the devil to deceive them into believing they will have a blessed eternity and to deceive them into becoming satisfied with themselves and their sinful, unbelieving lifestyles.  Those who want such a sign are an evil, adulterous, unbelieving generation, who fail to look to Christ’s death and resurrection as the only sign of hope for a blessed everlasting life.  Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:39 below state that it is an evil, adulterous, unbelieving generation that seeks for such signs.

Matthew 12:39: “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, yet no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.”

In this third section of this Bible study we have discovered that near-death , out-of-body, experiences can be due to hallucinations.  Some may be supernatural experiences in the next world.  But we should not be deceived into believing that everyone who has such an experience will have a blessed eternity.  Rather we should believe what the Bible tells us: Those who believe in Jesus will be saved; those who do not believe in him will be condemned.

4. What should we think of a sudden, unexpected, tragic or accidental, death?

a. We should not think the individual who died suddenly or tragically must have been guilty of some great sin for which God took his life to punish him.  Jesus’ words in Luke 13:1-5 below clarify that such deceased persons were not necessarily greater sinners than the rest of us.  Those in Jesus’ day whom Pilate slaughtered and those who were killed by a falling tower in Siloam did perish, but Jesus said that all the people were sinners who deserved to perish.  Let us realize, then, that we too are all sinners, and the sudden, tragic death of individuals should prompt us to repent of our sins, so we ourselves do not likewise perish in hell.

Luke 13:1-5: 1 Now some were present at that same time who were telling him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you think that those Galileans were worse sinners in comparison to all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 No, I tell you, but if you yourselves do not repent, you all will likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them – do you think that they were worse sinners in comparison to all the people who were living in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you, but if you yourselves do not repent, you all will likewise perish.”

b. There is a good reason for the deaths of Christians, whether their deaths are sudden or not, which explains the reason for their deaths that people do not understand, and which offers comfort to us who survive them.  According to Isaiah 57:1, 2 the Lord is delivering them from evil -- the evil in this world, and the evil that is coming on the last day when the world is judged.  Through death the Lord gives those deceased Christians peace and rest, which we who are still on this earth do not have.

Isaiah 57:1, 2: The righteous perish, and no man takes it to heart; And pious men are taken away, and no one has understanding; For the righteous is taken away from the presence of evil. 2 He enters into peace; They rest upon their beds – Everyone who walked in his upright path.

c. What should we think when a loved one of ours dies suddenly in bed or in some other manner?  At a time such as that we may likely have anxious concerns.  Did our loved one think about God during those moments leading up to his death?  Did he call upon God for help and mercy and confess Christ before he died?  In cases such as this we should direct our attention to two factors.  First, we should recall the life that our loved one lived while he was still alive, in good health, and of sound mind.  If we recall how he loved the Word of God, was faithful in his worship of God in church with his fellow Christians, attended Holy Communion regularly, confessed his faith in the gospel of Christ Jesus, and looked to eternal blessedness in heaven because Jesus had lived a perfect life for him and had died to pay for his sins – then we can be comforted and reassured about his eternal resting place even though he died suddenly.  Second, we should direct out thoughts to the mercy and graciousness of God and our Lord Jesus Christ, who stated that all who believed in him will be saved and have eternal life.  God and our Lord Jesus Christ are faithful.  They will surely not go back on their Word and promises.  Since they promised eternal life to all who believed the gospel of Jesus Christ and are absolutely faithful in fulfilling their promises, and since our loved one during his life did believe in Jesus – we can be assured our deceased loved one is in the blessedness of heaven.

In this fourth section of this Bible study we have discovered that we should not conclude that the deceased who suddenly, violently, tragically or accidentally died was a great sinner who was punished with death.  His death should serve to prompt us all to repent, so we do not perish.  We can actually take comfort in the sudden death of a Christian, for through his death the Lord has delivered him from evil into heavenly rest and peace.  As survivors we will draw comfort from the deceased Christian’s confession of faith and love for the Lord during his life, and we will trust that Christ his Savior was with him to help him through the time of his death.

5. Is the time of our death something to worry about?

a. Worrying is never something for us to indulge ourselves in.  In Matthew 6:25-34 our Lord Jesus Christ tells us not to worry about the necessities of life or about our life itself.  He says that worrying does not lengthen our lives.  He also tells us not to worry about tomorrow.  Rather, we should simply put our lives in our Lord’s hands and trust in him to give us life and what we need to live.  Then, in 1 Peter 5:6, 7, our Lord instructs us to humble ourselves, and to put ourselves into the care of God’s almighty power, casting all our worries on him and trusting that he cares and will care for us.

Matthew 6:25-34: 25 “For this reason I say to you, stop worrying for your life – what you should eat, or what you should drink, not even for your body, what you should wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the sky; they do not sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they? 27 And who of you by worrying is able to add one hour to his time of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Observe well how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin. 29 Yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 Therefore, if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is cast into a furnace, will he not much more clothe you, You of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or, ‘What shall we drink?’ or, ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans seek after all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.”

1 Peter 5:6,7: Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, in order that he may exalt you at a favorable time, 7 casting all your worry on him, because he cares about you.

b. The following verses tell us what we should remember about our life and how long we live.  Psalm 31:15 tells us that our time of life and how long we live is in God’s hands.  Psalm 139:13-16 tell us that God, who created us, already had the length of our life planned out, ordained and established before we were born and lived to see the first day of our life.  And Acts 17:26 tells us that God created us from the blood of Adam, and that he established both the times that all people live and where they live.

Psalm 31:15: My times are in your hand.

Psalm 139:13-16: For you certainly created my inmost parts; You weaved me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give you thanks, because I am wonderfully and admirably made; Wonderful are your works, my soul knows this very well. 15 My body was not hidden from you, When I was made in secret, And I was formed in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my undeveloped body, And all the days predestined for me were written in your book, When there was not yet one of them.

Acts 17:26: . . . and he made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their prescribed times and the fixed boundaries of their habitation, . . .

In this fifth section of this Bible study we have discovered that we should not worry about the time of our death.  Rather, we should put our life into God’s hands, trusting in him to give us life and to preserve our life, and believing that he will sustain our life to the time he has established for us to die.

6. Are suicide and euthanasia God-pleasing deaths?

a. Over the years a substantial number of people have been in favor of euthanasia.  Many have believed that doctors should be legally permitted to painlessly end the life of a terminally ill patient if that person and his family requested it.

b. It has been stated that over one million people in the world commit suicide every year.  People of all ages commit suicide, but some age groups have higher suicide rates than other age groups.  It has been said that suicide is the leading cause of death among teenagers.  Statistics have shown a large number of elderly persons commit suicide every year as well.  And males have a much higher suicide rate than females.

c. Suicide and euthanasia as favorable options to living are not new but date back to antiquity.  Saul, the king of Israel, around 1000 B.C asked his armor-bearer to assist him in his death by running him through with his sword.  When his armor-bearer would not do it, Saul fell on his sword to avoid being captured (cf. 1 Samuel 31:1-6).  Pliny the Elder wrote in the first century that the chief comfort a man has is being able to commit suicide if he wishes to do so.  Pliny considered suicide the supreme gift that God gave to man.

d. Suicide is well understood: a person takes his own life and kills himself.  Euthanasia is not so well understood.  The word comes from the Greek language and means a good death, to die well.  The Greek-English Lexicon defines it as an easy, happy death.  Its corresponding verb means to die a noble death, easily and happily.  The past Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, had once been quoted as stating that euthanasia at his time meant that a person could do anything he could, actively or passively, to hasten the death of an individual who was considered a nuisance or no longer productive.  Today one can find on the Internet definitions of euthanasia.  One definition might be something like the ending of a life in a way that relieves pain and suffering.

e. The following Scripture verses teach us about the value of life and a person’s right to die.

Genesis 9:5, 6 teach us that God values life very highly and protects it.  For this reason we should likewise regard life as being very precious and defend it.  And whoever takes a human life should be punished and forfeit his own life.

Genesis 9:5, 6: Surely I will demand back your lifeblood; from every beast I will demand it back; and from the hand of every man, from the hand of a man’s brother, I will demand back the life of man. 6 Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man his blood will be shed, Because in the image of God he made man.

The Fifth Commandment, “You shall not murder” forbids anyone to take the life of anyone else, or to even take his own life, which is suicide and self-murder.  The value and sanctity of life in the eyes of God is evident through this commandment, for God protects the life of every human being with this commandment.

Isaiah 55:6,7; Acts 17:26; and Hebrews 9:27 make it clear that a person’s life is so valuable to him because his life is the time the Lord gives him to repent of his sins and to believe in Jesus Christ for his salvation.   His life is his time of grace.  When he is dead, it is too late for him to be saved, for then he has met his judgment.

Isaiah 55:6, 7: Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the man of iniquity his intentions.

Acts:17;26: . . . and he made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their prescribed times and the fixed boundaries of their habitation, . . .

Hebrews 9:27: . . . it is reserved for men to die once, and after this to face judgment.

We will apply the verses of Matthew 25:34-46 below to euthanasia, especially to its method of withholding food and water from an individual to hasten his death.  The verses clarify that what is done to the individual is done to Christ himself.  When food and water are withheld from an individual to kill him that is the same as killing Christ by withholding food and water from him.  Those who provide food and water to preserve a life are blessed; those who withhold food and water to terminate a life are cursed.  This would not hold true in the instance of a person who had made out a living-will, which stipulated that he did not want special means of feeding tubes and IVs to be used on him when he no longer could eat and drink himself.  Rather, he then wanted to die a natural death and not be kept alive by machines and feeding tubes.

Matthew 25:31-46: “When the Son of Man shall come in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his throne of glory; 32 and all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come! you who are the blessed ones of my Father, inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you from the beginning of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and we fed you, or thirsty and we gave you a drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and we invited you in, or naked and we clothed you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and we came to you?’ 40 And answering, the King will say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, as much as you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed ones, into the eternal fire that has been kept in readiness for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you did not give me anything to eat, I was thirsty and you did not give me a drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I was naked and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they will also answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and we did not help you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly I say to you, as much as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

f. Assisted suicide and euthanasia are deemed proper and merciful to prevent further suffering.  Is there a purpose to suffering, however, which God has intended and which supporters of euthanasia overlook and thwart?  Consider the following verses:

Job 42:1-6 below reveals what the benefit of Job’s suffering was.  It led him to repent of his pride and to humble himself before God.   Through suffering God delivered him from his conceit.

Job 42:1-6: Then Job answered and said: 2 “I know that you can do all things, And no plan of yours can be hindered.” 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ “Therefore I have professed things that I did not understand, Things done too wonderfully for me that I did not know.” 4 ‘Hear now, and indeed I will speak.’ “I will ask you and you instruct me.” 5 “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear; But now my eyes see you. 6 Therefore I disavow my earlier words, and I repent in dust and ashes.”

The Lord had blessed Paul with visions of heaven that other Christians were not permitted to see.  Afterwards the Lord afflicted him with a thorn in the flesh.  In the verses of 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 that follow we learn the Lord had a good purpose for causing Paul’s suffering.  Paul’s suffering kept him from falling into the sin of conceit and into God’s just punishment for it.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10: And because of the extra-ordinary grandeur of the revelations, for this reason, that I may not overly exalt myself, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to afflict me, that I may not overly exalt myself. 8 Concerning this matter I appealed to the Lord three times that it may depart from me. 9 And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you. For its power is carried out in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast in my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in insults, in distresses, in persecutions and calamities, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

James 1:2-4 & 12 below reveal of what value suffering is to us.  Our suffering is a time when our faith is tested to enable us to grow in perseverance under trials.  That suffering provides us with an opportunity for our spiritual growth into mature Christians.  Those who bear up under the trials by faith will receive the benefit of the crown of life God has promised.  Based on James 1:2-4 & 12 below, it can be said that those who refuse to accept the suffering and try to escape it through assisted suicide and euthanasia are thwarting God’s purpose for them, and they are showing their lack of faith and an unwillingness to accept God’s will for them, which then causes them to forfeit the crown of life.

James 1:2-4 & 12: Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various kinds of trials, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 And let the perseverance bring about its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete persons, lacking in nothing . . . 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trail, because after he has passed the test he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love him.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 below reveals what beneficial outcome arises from our suffering. When we suffer, God comforts us with the gospel of life and salvation and of his divine love and care for us by which he makes all things work for our good.  When we have suffered and have been comforted with the gospel and God’s promises, we in turn are able to comfort those who are suffering.  We can be missionaries of comfort to uphold others in their faith when suffering, or to bring others to faith with the word of comfort from the gospel.  We can be lights and examples to others of the hope that is within us in Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in our every affliction, so we are able to comfort those in any and every affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ abound to us, so through Christ our comfort abounds. 6 But if we are oppressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which becomes effective in patient endurance of the same sufferings that we also suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you are partakers of our sufferings, so you are also partakers of our comfort.

g. Psalm 31:15, quoted above, tells us our times are in God’s hands.  The length of our life and when we will die are up to him, and as we saw in Psalm 139 and Acts 17:26 above, God has already ordained and established what the length of our life will be even before we are born.  Knowing these truths from Scripture affect our attitude toward assisted suicide and euthanasia.  By faith we know we must put our life into God’s hands and not try to act on our own to end our life.  The Lord will take our life when it is the right time according to his plans for us.

In this sixth section of this Bible study we have discovered that suicide and euthanasia are not God-pleasing deaths. They are forbidden by the fifth commandment and punished by God.  Killing a person by euthanasia is a sin committed against Christ, while preserving a person’s life is an act of kindness to Christ himself.  Human life has value and divine sanctity, being a time of grace to come to God for mercy and salvation.  The suffering that suicide and euthanasia seek to circumvent has a divine purpose and blessing, namely to lead us to repentance, to our spiritual growth in becoming mature Christians, and to comforting others in their suffering as God has comforted us in our suffering.

7. Is death something to be feared?

a. When Hamlet contemplated committing suicide he spoke those memorable words: “To be or not to be, that is the question.”  The outcome of his contemplation was that he decided against suicide.  He realized that life on the other side of death was an unknown factor.  As bad as he saw his life on earth, he also saw the possibility that his life on the other side of death could turn out to be even worse.  For this reason he decided in favor of living.

b. Hamlet’s fear is characteristic of mankind.  Fear of death is attributable to various factors:

Like Hamlet, people fear the uncertainty of death itself and what lies beyond it.

People know in their hearts there is a God, as was verified in war, which led to the adage, “There are no atheists in the foxhole.”  Knowing there is a God, death incites fear because people know that then they must stand before God, “their Maker,” to give an account of their lives and deeds.   Their conscience then stirs up the fear that the just God will punish them for their sins and evil deeds.  Because of their feelings of guilt, people agonize over death.

Immortality lies within the heart of mankind, which accounts for the hope of an afterlife even among the world’s unbelievers and idolaters.  This immortality within the heart goes back to creation when man was created to live, not to die.  Death is unnatural, an accident, a penalty and consequence of sin.  Being unnatural, people fear it.

The real agony of death is not physical but spiritual in nature.   When the fear of death is removed from the soul, death itself is dispensed with as far as the soul is concerned, for death is but a sleep. 

c. What cures and removes the fear of death?  The following verses tell us.

From Acts 7:54-60 below we can learn that seeing Jesus by faith and believing he will receive our souls into heaven will remove from us the fear of death, as it did for the first martyr Stephan.

Acts 7:54-60: Now while they were hearing these things, they became infuriated in their hearts and began to gnash their teeth at him. 55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and he said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”57 Then they screamed in a piercing voice, stopped their ears, rushed headlong at him with a single purpose, 58 and when they had thrown him outside of the city, they began stoning him.  And the witnesses took off their cloaks and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they continued stoning Stephen, while he was calling on the Lord and saying, “Lord Jesus! Receive my spirit.” 60 Then, when he had kneeled down, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lord! Do not charge this sin against them!”  And after saying this, he fell asleep.

Jesus teaches us in John 11:25, 26 below that faith in him, who is the source of life and the resurrection, gives immortality, everlasting life and salvation to all of us who believe in him.

John 11:25, 26: And Jesus said to her (Martha), “I myself am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even if he dies, 26 and all who live and believe in me shall absolutely never die.  Do you believe this?”

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 tells us that Paul was not afraid of death.  He confessed that the Christian longs for the eternal life in heaven, which is his upon his death, and that having the heavenly abode is preferable to living here on earth.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10: For we know that if our earthly house, which is our tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house not made by human hands in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3 since also after having clothed ourselves in it, we will not be found naked. 4 For indeed we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, in order that the mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now he who prepared us for this very thing is God, who gave us the down payment of the Spirit. 6 Therefore being confident at all times, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord – 7 for we walk by faith not by sight – 8 we are, then, of good courage, and we prefer rather to depart from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether being at home or away, to be pleasing to him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, in order that each one may receive the things according to which he had done in the body, whether good or bad.

In 2 Timothy 4:6-8 below Paul stated that he was approaching his martyrdom.  Yet he was not afraid to die, because he had lived by faith to the end of his life and knew that he would receive from God the crown of righteousness in heaven.

2 Timothy 4:6-8: For I myself am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. 8 From now on the crown of righteousness is stored up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that day – and not only to me but even to all who have loved his appearing.

1 John 4:16-18 teaches us what will drive the fear of death out of our hearts.  It is God’s love for us by which we are saved, and our responding love for him that lives righteously without the fear of punishment for sin.

1 John 4:16-18: And we on our part have come to know and have believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in the love remains in God and God remains in him. 17 By this the love has been brought to its goal with us, that we have a joyful confidence in the day of judgment, because just as he is, we on our part are also in this world. 18 There is no fear in the love; on the contrary the love having attained its purpose casts out the fear, because the fear has punishment. And the one who fears has not been brought to the goal in the love.

In this seventh section of this Bible study we have discovered that for us Christians death is nothing to fear.  Because of our sinful nature we all harbor a natural fear of death for a variety of reasons.  Our spirit as Christians, however, does not fear death, for the promises of God’s gift of life and salvation lead us to yearn to be with him in heaven.  Faith in God’s love for us and our love for him will drive out the fear of death.

8. What of the world’s attempts to obscure the stark reality of death?

a. We, and the people of this world, cannot successfully cover up the fact of death.  Hospitals in our communities are a constant reminder of sickness, disease, and its final outcome—death.  Funeral homes are more reminders that people are dying everyday and leaving grief behind.  Our loved ones and friends die.  Cemeteries remind us that they are the final end for all who live on earth.  The daily news reminds us everyday of death as a result of murders, crimes, accidents, catastrophes, disease, old age, and the announcements of the deaths of famous individuals whom the world will miss.  Accidents are more reminders of death that we see on the highways and elsewhere.  Wars are constantly being fought around the world, and their number of the dead and dying are staggering.  Within nature we see the death of pets, the changing of the seasons that brings fall and the death of the beautiful flowers and leaves, which had beautified our world.  Then we see our own aging taking place that brings thoughts of our eventual deaths.  Death is all around us.  There is no escaping it or covering it up.

b. Yet the world does try to cover up the harsh reality of death.  People use euphemisms and pious platitudes, like: passed away, called away or out of this world, has gone away, has joined so-and-so, has gone home, has finished his pilgrimage--anything such as these statements except actually saying the person died and is dead.  Funeral homes try to cover death’s harsh reality by creating beautiful settings and flowery decorations to give the illusion of peace and contentment.  Even the dirt at the gravesides and the hole that was dug is covered over with green carpeting to hide them, removing the stark reality of where the body is being laid.

c. Quite plainly, people cannot put death out of mind or rationalize it away.  They cannot dispose of it, because the world is full of death, and it is all around them.  Nor can they laugh it off.  Death, as shown above, is the sphere in which the world moves.

In this eighth section of this Bible study we have considered the world’s attempts to cover up the stark, harsh reality of death.  But they are vain, foolish attempts, for death cannot be hidden from us.  It is everywhere around us.  Euphemisms and platitudes cannot hide it, nor can decorations.  Nor can it be rationalized away or laughed off as a triviality not to be unconcerned about.

9. Unlike the world’s euphemisms that attempt to cover up death and to remove its sting, what names does God use in the Bible for death and for good reasons?

a. God uses the expression “gathered to his people”, such as is stated in Genesis 25:8 and 35:29 below.

Genesis 25:8:And Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and he was gathered to his people.

Genesis 35:29: Then Isaac breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, an old man and full of days; and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

b. God uses the expression of departing in peace.

Luke 2:29: “Now Lord, let your servant depart in peace according to your word.”

c. God states that death is a person being taken away to be spared from evil to enter into peace and to find rest

Isaiah 57:1,2: The righteous perish, and no man takes it to heart; And pious men are taken away, and no one has understanding; For the righteous is taken away from the presence of evil. 2 He enters into peace; They rest upon their beds; Everyone who walked in his upright path.

d. In the following verses God calls death a sleep.

Daniel 12:2: And multitudes who are sleeping in the dust of the earth will awake, these to everlasting life, but those to disgrace and everlasting extreme hatred.

Matthew 9:23, 24: And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house and saw the flute-players and the crowd making an uproar, 24 he started saying, “Leave, for the girl has not died but is sleeping.”  And they began laughing at him.

1 Thessalonians 4:13: We do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, about those who are asleep, so you do not grieve as the rest who have no hope.

John 11:11-14: These things he said, and after that he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going that I may wake him up.” 12 Then the disciples said to him, “If he has fallen asleep, he will be restored to health.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking a rest of sleep. 14 So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,” . . .

e. In Philippians 1:23 below God says death is a departing to be with Christ.

Philippians 1:21-24: For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this means more fruitful work for me. And what I shall choose, I do not know. 23 Moreover, I am hard pressed from the two possibilities, having the desire to depart and to be with Christ, for this is much better by far; 24 yet to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.

f. In John 5:24 below Jesus states that death is a passing from death to life.

John 5:24: “Truly, truly I say to you that he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life, and he does not come into condemnation but has passed over from death into life.

In this ninth section of this Bible study we have discovered some of the biblical names that God uses for the death of us believers in Jesus, which are: being gathered to our people, departing in peace, being taken out of evil and finding rest, a sleep, departing to be with Christ, and passing into life, all of which inform us what the nature of death is for us.

10. What is the cause of death?

a. The following verses all teach us that sin is the cause of death:

Genesis 2:16, 17 informs us that God said that when his commandment would be broken and sin would be committed, death would then result.

Genesis 2:16, 17: And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat from every tree of the garden; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it, you will surely die.”

Romans 5:12 states that death came as a result of sin.

Romans 5:12: Therefore, just as by one man the sin entered into the world and the death by the sin, even so the death passed through to all men because all sinned

Romans 6:23 states death is the reward for sin.

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hebrews 9:26-28; 10:12, 14, 18 below teaches us that Christ’s death for sin reveals sin is the cause of death, and his death for sin gives us life.

Hebrews 9:26-28: . . . for then it would have been necessary for him to suffer many times from the foundation of the world; but now once at the close of the ages he has appeared for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is reserved for men to die once, and after this to face judgment, 28 so also Christ, who was offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear for a second time apart from sin to those who eagerly await him for salvation.

Hebrews 10:12, 14, 18: But this priest, after offering one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, . . . For by one sacrifice he has perfected forever those who are sanctified, . . . Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer a sacrifice for sin.

b. Dogmaticians, agreeing on the preceding cause of sin, note the following as the cause of death as well:

God as the just and righteous Judge inflicts death as the       punishment for sin.  This infliction of punishment is his consequential will and judgment as a consequence of sin, as the following verses of Psalm 90 indicate.

Psalm 90:1, 3, 5, 7, 8: O Lord, you indeed have been our dwelling place in all generations . . . 3 You turn mortal man back to dust, Saying, “Return, O sons of men.” . . . 5 You sweep them away in the sleep of death like a flood,  . . . 7 For we are consumed in your wrath, And in the heat of your anger we are terrified . . . 8 You place our iniquities before you, Our secret sins in the light of your presence.

According to the following John 8:44 Satan is the murderer who took man’s life by tempting him into sin.

John 8:44: Surely you are from your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks out of his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.

Romans 5:12, 15 below informs us that Adam is the cause of sin, in the sense that he as the representative of the human race sinned and brought God’s threatened punishment of death into the world.  In him the whole human race, which would descend from him, sinned.  His sin and guilt are held against all and makes all subject to death.

Romans 5:12, 15: Therefore, just as by one man the sin entered into the world and the death by the sin, even so the death passed through to all men because all sinned . . . 15 But the gift of divine grace is not like the transgression; for if by the transgression of the one man the many died, by much more the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ was present in abundance to the many!

Disease, accident, and violence have been said to be intermediate causes of death.  See Luke 13:1-5 that was quoted above.  Those who were killed were not worse sinners than those who still lived.  The dead and the living were both alike sinners.  Jesus’ words, however, “I tell you, if you yourselves do not repent, you all will likewise perish.” indicates the accidental and violent deaths were a consequence of God’s wrath against sin.  We should remember that accidental or violent deaths do not mean the person killed must have been guilty of some great and vile sin that prompted God to strike him dead at that moment.  Stephen, the first Christian martyr, died a violent death, as did Paul.  Death of all kinds, whether accidental or violent or natural, is a consequence of God’s wrath against sin for which he inflicts death.  Romans 8:10 below makes it clear that even Christians who have forgiveness of sins still die as a consequence of sin and God’s wrath against it.  See also the verses of Psalm 90 above.

Romans 8:10: But if Christ is in you, to be sure the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

c. As for the cause of death, God’s threat that on the day Adam ate the forbidden fruit he would surely die, and God’s pronouncement that because Adam had listened to his wife and had eaten the forbidden fruit he would return to dust, plainly declare that death was not part of mankind’s nature as they were created.  Death came about only as a consequence of sin.  It is not mankind’s natural lot to die as a pig or a rabbit or other animals die, or as the grass withers and the flowers fade away. Death according to the Bible is anything but natural for mankind.  Death is unnatural.  It is the penalty for sin and disobedience against God.  And it should not be thought that death is the result of only the gross, actual sins, such as robbery, adultery, murder, and so forth.  For even little babies who have not lived to commit such gross sins die in their beds.  Death is the penalty for the sin inherited from Adam through one’s parents and forefathers, in which sin all people are conceived and born.

d. If there were no sin, there would be no death.  Had man resisted sin, man would have been confirmed in holiness, would never have sinned, and would therefore never have been subjected to death, like the holy angels who did not sin were confirmed in holiness and were therefore never able to sin.  The wages of sin is death, but where there is no sin, there are no wages for it.  Mankind would have lived forever, which is the eternal life that Christ our dear Savior has restored to us in heaven by means of his death for the sins of us all.

In this tenth section of this Bible study we have discovered that the cause of death is sin.

11.What happens at the time of death?

a. The following verses describe what physically takes place at the time of death:

Ecclesiastes 12:7 below tells us that at death the soul and body are separated from one another.  The body is buried; the soul returns to God.  Death, then, is the cessation or deprivation of natural life.

Ecclesiastes 12:7: Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

2 Corinthians 5:1, 4, 8 below describe our human body as an earthly tent.  The Greek text says the body is demolished and destroyed.  The body is done away with in death, yet the person’s soul still lives.  The Christian’s soul lives away from the body and is at home with the Lord.  These verses are again telling us that at death the soul and the body are separated.

2 Corinthians 5:1, 4, 8: For we know that if our earthly house, which is our tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house not made by human hands in the heavens . . . For indeed we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, in order that the mortal may be swallowed up by life . . . we are, then, of good courage, and we prefer rather to depart from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

Philippians 1:23 below states that the Christian soul departs from the body to be with Christ.  The Greek verb says it is a loosing, an untying, and a departing.  Here again we are told that at death the soul and the body part company.

Philippians 1:23: Moreover, I am hard pressed by the two possibilities, having the desire to depart and to be with Christ, for this is much better by far . . .

2 Timothy 4:6 describes death as a departure.  The soul departs.  The Greek verb is again an unloosing, an untying, and departing of company.

2 Timothy 4:6: For I myself am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.

From 2 Peter 1:13-15 we learn that death is a putting off of the body and is a departure of the soul.  The soul puts off the body and lives apart from it.

2 Peter 1:13-15: Moreover, I think it right, as long as I am in this bodily tent, to stir you up by a reminder, 14 knowing that the putting off of my bodily tent is imminent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ has also made clear to me. 15 Moreover, I will make every effort that at any time after my departure you will be able to recall these things to mind.

b. What happens to a person’s soul at the time of death according to the following passages?

Hebrews 9:27 informs us that at death the person’s soul is judged.

Hebrews 9:27: And just as it is reserved for men to die once, and after this to face judgment . . .

Ecclesiastes 12:7 states that the body decays and returns to dust, but the soul returns to God for judgment.

Ecclesiastes 12:7: Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

 The verses below teach us that in the case of a believer his soul at death is received by the Lord into heaven.  There he enjoys a state of bliss and blessedness, which, as Paul said, is preferable to life on earth.

Acts 7:59: And they continued stoning Stephen, while he was calling on the Lord and saying, “Lord Jesus! Receive my spirit.”

Luke 23:46: And calling out in a loud voice, Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” After having said this, he breathed his last.

Philippians 1:23: Moreover, I am hard pressed by the two possibilities, having the desire to depart and to be with Christ, for this is much better by far . . .

2 Corinthians 5:8: . . . we are, then, of good courage, and we prefer rather to depart from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

Revelation 6:9-11: And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the word of God and the testimony that they held fast. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice, saying, “ How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 And a white robe was given to each of them, and it was said to them that they should rest a short time yet, until also their fellow bondservants and their brothers who were about to be killed as they were should be completed.

John 11:25 below teaches us that the believer in Jesus lives even though he dies.  His soul is immortal.  To live is to be with God and to enjoy his blessings.  Thus the soul of the believer enjoys the blessings God has prepared in the life after death, namely in heaven.

John 11:25: And Jesus said to her, “I myself am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even if he dies . . .

From Luke 16:19-26 we learn that at death the child of God is joined with the saints in heaven, as Lazarus was in the bosom or fellowship of Abraham.  The unbeliever, however, finds his soul in hell, the place of torment and agony, from which he cannot leave.

Luke 16:19-26: Now there was a certain rich man, and he was always dressed in purple and fine linen, enjoying living sumptuously every day. 20 And a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; and not only this, but even the dogs were coming and were licking his sores. 22 Now it came to pass the beggar died, and he was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; then the rich man died also and was buried. 23 And in hell when he lifted up his eyes, while being in torments, he saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he, calling out, said, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you received your good things during your life, and Lazarus likewise the bad things. But now he is comforted here and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who wish to cross over from here to you may not be able to do so, and they may not cross over from there to us.’

1 Peter 3:18-20 tells us that the spirits of the unbelievers are with the demons in the prison, which we know to be hell.

1 Peter 3:18-20: For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous one for the unrighteous ones, in order to bring you to God, on the one hand having been put to death in the flesh, on the other hand having been made alive in the spirit; 19 in which he went and preached to those in prison, 20 who once were disobedient . . .

Note: Let us realize that in spite of the preceding information we have gleaned, the Bible tells us little about the state of the souls of the dead to the time of the resurrection.

c. From the following verses let us learn some things that do not happen at the time of death or after death.

After death the deceased do not become angels as many suppose.  This is clear from Psalm 148:2, 5, which tell us that the angels are created creatures of God, not human souls that have been changed into angels.

Psalm 148:2, 5: Praise him all his angels, Praise him all his heavenly hosts! . . . Let them praise the name of the Lord, For he commanded and they were created.

After death the deceased are not reincarnated to live in another life form on earth.  The numerous passages that we have already looked at in this Bible study rule out any prospect of reincarnation.

After death the deceased do not become ghosts to haunt this world.  This is evident from the preceding verses we have looked at, particularly Ecclesiastes 12:7 and Luke 16:27-31.  For at death the soul returns to God for judgment.  And in response to the rich man’s request that Lazarus return from the dead to warn his brothers, Jesus stated that no, that would not happen.  It is evident from that statement of Jesus that the dead are not permitted to return to communicate with the living.

After death the deceased unbelievers do not have a second chance to be brought to faith in order to be saved from their punishment in hell.  For at death they are judged and put into the prison of hell, where they find themselves in an eternal fire of punishment that lasts forever.  Since it is an eternal fire, there can be no second chance or an escape from it.  The following verses clarify these points.

Hebrews 9:27: And just as it is reserved for men to die once, and after this to face judgment . . .

1 Peter 3:18-20: For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous one for the unrighteous ones, in order to bring you to God, on the one hand having been put to death in the flesh, on the other hand having been made alive in the spirit; 19 in which he went and preached to those in prison, 20 who once were disobedient . . .

Matthew 25:41: Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed ones, into the eternal fire that has been kept in readiness for the devil and his angels.

d. The Bible knows of only two kinds of people – the believers and the unbelievers.  The following verses make it clear that there can be no such place as a purgatory that lies between heaven and hell.  The Bible speaks of only two places where the deceased proceed after death – heaven for the believers in Jesus or hell for the unbelievers.

The next group of verses informs us that the believers in Jesus have eternal life in heaven.  Their souls are received into heaven immediately.

John 5:24: “Truly, truly I say to you that he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has eternal life, and he does not come into condemnation but has passed over from death into life.”

John 3:16, 18 , 36: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life . . . He who believes in him is not condemned; but he who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God . . . He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who disobeys the Son will not see life, rather the wrath of God remains upon him.

John 11:25, 26: And Jesus said to her, “I myself am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even if he dies, 26 and all who live and believe in me shall absolutely never die.  Do you believe this?”

Luke 23:42, 43: And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Philippians 1:23: Moreover, I am hard pressed by the two possibilities, having the desire to depart and to be with Christ, for this is much better by far . . .

Acts 7:59: And they continued stoning Stephen, while he was calling on the Lord and saying, “Lord Jesus! Receive my spirit.”

The next group of verses informs us that the unbelievers are judged and are cast into the eternal fire, where there is no second chance for them to be saved for eternal life in heaven.

Hebrews 9:27: And just as it is reserved for men to die once, and after this to face judgment . . .

1 Peter 3:18-20: For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous one for the unrighteous ones, in order to bring you to God, on the one hand having been put to death in the flesh, on the other hand having been made alive in the spirit; 19 in which he went and preached to those in prison, 20 who once were disobedient . . .

Matthew 25:41: Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed ones, into the eternal fire that has been kept in readiness for the devil and his angels.

e. Roman Catholic teaching maintains that purgatory is a place where the dead, who were not good enough to get into heaven but not so wicked as to be cast into hell, have the opportunity to purge themselves of their sins and to become perfect and acceptable to God.  The following verses show this teaching to be in error.

Matthew 25:10-12 makes it clear that the deceased unbelievers have no second chance after death to be recognized and received into heaven.  Once the door is shut to them, they are not permitted to enter in.

Matthew 25:10-12: But while they were going away to buy the oil, the bridegroom came, and the virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other virgins also came, saying, “Lord!  Lord!  Open the door for us!” 12 But answering he said, “Truly I say to you, I don’t know you.”

According to 1 Corinthians 9:24 now is the time to run the race to receive the prize of eternal life.  Later is too late.

1 Corinthians 9:24: Do you not know that all who run in the arena to be sure run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win the prize.

Isaiah 55:6, 7 makes it clear that now is the time to seek the Lord while he is merciful; after death it is too late.

Isaiah 55:6, 7: Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the man of iniquity his intentions.

From Ezekiel 18:30-32 we learn that the time to purge out our sins is in this life before death.  If such purging is not done here on earth, there is only death afterwards and no second chance.

Ezekiel 18:30-32: “Therefore, I will judge you, O house of Israel, each one according to his ways,” declares the Lord God.  “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, then sin will not be a stumbling block to you. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.  For why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I take no delight in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God.  “So repent and live!”

Now let us consider 1 Peter 3:18-20 below.  In these verses the dead from the time of Noah are the spirits in prison, meaning hell.  After all this time they are still there.  They have not purged themselves of their sins and guilt to deliver themselves from punishment.

1 Peter 3:18-20: For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous one for the unrighteous ones, in order to bring you to God, on the one hand having been put to death in the flesh, on the other hand having been made alive in the spirit; 19 in which he went and preached to those in prison, 20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God waited eagerly in the days of Noah while the ark was being constructed, in which a few, that is eight persons, were saved by water . . .

1 John 1:7 tells us very plainly what alone purges and cleanses away sins – the blood of Christ, and certainly not the efforts of the dead in a place falsely described as purgatory.

1 John 1:7: . . . the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

f. The Roman Catholic Church lists five places that hold the dead:

1 Hell, for the extremely wicked unbelievers

2 Purgatory, which is supposedly next to hell, where souls not yet purged of their venial sins and who have not yet made satisfaction for temporal punishments before dying in faith in Christ, must labor until their sins are purged away and they can ascend into heaven as pure souls.

3 Limbus Infantum, where the souls of unbaptized infants, who because of their original sin suffer the punishment of loss of heavenly joys, yet do not suffer the torments of hell.  This is called limbus, or limbo, because it is at the border or edge of hell.

4 Limbus Patrum, where the souls of the patriarchs and Old Testament saints are, who died before Christ’s coming and then suffered the temporal punishment of loss of heavenly joys until the debt of their original sin was paid through the death of Christ.  Then they could enter heavenly blessedness.

5 Heaven, the place of the souls of the saints fully purged of all their sins.

Note: Hell is said to be at the center of the earth.  In the next story above hell is purgatory.  Bordering purgatory is the limbus infantum and the limbus patrum that is now empty.

In this eleventh section of this Bible study we have discovered what happens at the time of death.  The soul is separated from the body.  The body decays to return to dust.  The soul returns to God for judgment.  The souls of the believers are received into heaven immediately to await the resurrection of the dead, while the souls of the unbelievers are immediately condemned to hell.  There is no place between heaven and hell, such as purgatory.

12. Does the method of burial make a difference?

a. Various methods of burial have been, or are being, used.  The body is buried in a coffin.  The body may be cremated and its ashes preserved in an urn in a cemetery.  Some places have allowed the ashes to be scattered.  The ancient Jews laid the body, wrapped in burial clothes with spices, in a cave or tomb hollowed out in the rock and sealed with a stone.  The ancient Greeks burned the body on a funeral pyre, which was a heap or tower of combustible materials.  The Norsemen were known to place a Viking’s corpse in a boat.  The North American Indian used burial mounds.  Sailors have been buried at sea by slipping their weighted corpse over the side of the ship.  Mummification was practiced in ancient Egypt, as well as in Peru and Mexico.  Then there are the anonymous burials, such as are practiced in Germany and other European countries.

b. The Bible does not dictate what must or must not be done in a Christian funeral and burial.  These are an adiaphron, which is a matter of form and method that are neither commanded nor forbidden.

c. As for the cremation of the body, in the past objections were raised against this manner of burial.  There was a time, at least in the United States, that cremation was associated with an ungodly rebellion against the Lord and a defiance to his raising up what the flames had burned up and reduced to ashes.  What is more, the ashes were sometimes spread over vast areas, like the ocean, in a defiant gesture that said, “All right God!  Let’s see you raise these ashes from the dead to stand before you!”  Where no such rebellion and defiance of unbelief are associated with cremation, no offense is given should a believer arrange to have his body cremated after his death.

d. The overall principle that applies to a Christian funeral and burial is that they are done in a manner consistent with the Christian faith and hope of the resurrection of the body to eternal life.

In this twelfth section of this Bible study we have discovered that the method of burial makes no difference.  The method is an adiaphron.  In Christian funerals and burials the guiding principle is that they are conducted in a manner consistent with the Christian faith and hope in the resurrection of the body to eternal life.

13. Why are the burial places of the dead called cemeteries?

a. Our English word cemetery was derived from the Greek word koimeterion, which is based on the word koiman, meaning to put to sleep, according to Webster’s unabridged dictionary.  A koimeterion, then, was a sleeping place, a cemetery.  The Greek – English Lexicon defines it as a sleeping room, and then a burial place.  So our word cemetery means a place set apart for burial and interment; a graveyard; a necropolis, which in Greek means a city of the dead.

b. Naming the churchyards cemeteries was a confession of the Christian faith, that namely the dead are in a state of sleep from which the Lord will awake them on the last day when he raises up their bodies.  Our churchyards, or cemeteries, are places in which individuals sleep.  They are sleeping quarters.

c. The verses that follow call death a sleep.

Acts 7:59, 60: And they continued stoning Stephen, while he was calling on the Lord and saying, “Lord Jesus! Receive my spirit.” 60 Then, when he had kneeled down, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lord! Do not charge this sin against them!”  And after saying this, he fell asleep.

Mark 5:39: . . . and after he entered he says to them, “Why are you making an uproar and weeping?  The child did not die but is sleeping.”

John 11:11-14: These things he said, and after that he says to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going that I may wake him up.” 12 Then the disciples said to him, “If he has fallen asleep, he will be restored to health.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he means taking a rest of sleep. 14 So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,” . . .

1 Thessalonians 4:13-16: We do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, about those who are asleep, so you do not grieve as the rest who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are living, who remain until the coming of the Lord, shall absolutely not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a cried out command, with a voice of an archangel, and with a trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Daniel 12:2: And multitudes who are sleeping in the dust of the earth will awake, these to everlasting life, but those to disgrace and everlasting extreme hatred.

d. When we look carefully at the following verses of Isaiah 57:1, 2, we see that the grave is given the name “bed.”  The grave is the bed where the dead sleep.

Isaiah 57:1, 2: “The righteous perish, and no man takes it to heart; And pious men are taken away, and no one has understanding; For the righteous is taken away from the presence of evil. 2 He enters into peace; They rest upon their beds; Everyone who walked in his upright path.”

In this thirteenth section of this Bible study we have discovered that Christians’ burial places are called cemeteries.  They are called cemeteries because the graves are the sleeping quarters and beds of the dead.  They have been given this name as a confession of Scripture and our Christian faith that those who die in the Lord only sleep until he awakes them from the dead on the last day.

14. Is the nature of death annihilation?

a. To answer this question, keep in mind what we learned above happens at the time of death.

b. Death to many people is synonymous with annihilation.  What do they mean by annihilation?  They mean there is no immortality of the soul or a life after death.  Upon death the deceased ceases to exist.  Like the animals, the deceased has no soul that lives after death and is immortal.  This annihilation is surely wrong.

c. Based on what we learned happens at death, the nature of death is the soul being separated from the body.  The soul continues to live, returns to God for judgment, and is assigned to its eternal dwelling place.  The body is buried and decays.

In this fourteenth section of this Bible study we have discovered that the nature of death is not an annihilation, in which a destruction of the soul and body takes place and the deceased no longer exists.  Rather, death is simply the separation of the soul and body.

15. Why do we say the soul is immortal?

a. We say that the soul is immortal because the following verses teach us that the soul lives on and continues to exist after death.

John 11:25, 26 state that even though the Christian dies, he, that is his soul, still lives.

John 11:25, 26: Jesus said to her, “I myself am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even if he dies, 26 and all who live and believe in me shall absolutely never die.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 states that at death the spirit, or soul, returns to God.  The soul must continue to live and exist, then, because that which does not exist cannot return to God.  If it did not exist, there would be nothing to return to God.

Ecclesiastes 12:7: Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

Matthew 10:28 tells us that the wicked can destroy a body and snuff out its life by murdering it, but the wicked cannot destroy the soul.  It lives on.  God destroys both bodies and souls in hell, both of which exist, the soul immortally and the body having been raised from the dead.

Matthew 10:28: And do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but who are unable to kill the soul; but rather be afraid of him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Luke 12:20 states that the rich fool’s soul was being demanded of him upon his death.

Luke 12:20: But God said to him, “You fool! This night they are demanding your soul from you.”

Matthew 27:50 and John 19:30 teach us that at his death Jesus gave up his spirit, his soul, which, as he had told the thief on the cross it would, proceeded to paradise.

Matthew 27:50: Now Jesus, again calling out in a loud voice, let go of his spirit . . . John 19:30: Therefore when he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is finished!” And when he had bowed his head, he gave up his spirit.

b. From Scripture we know little about the state of the soul after death until the resurrection of its body.  But from the following Scripture verses we do know certain things about the soul after death, which is another reason why we say the soul is immortal.

Luke 16:22-30 tell us about quite a number of capabilities and attributes that the soul of the rich man continued to have even in hell.  His soul sensed torment and suffering.  It could look up and see.  It could recognize others.  It could speak, call out, hear, converse, and understand.  It had an intelligence and ability to remember and to reason.  It had a will and desire of its own.  It had emotions because it was capable of feeling the torment and agony.  Its reasoning was also capable of misconception and being mistaken.

Luke 16:22-30: Now it came to pass the beggar died, and he was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; then the rich man died also and was buried. 23 And in hell when he lifted up his eyes, while being in torments, he sees Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he, calling out, said, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am being tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you received your good things during your life, and Lazarus likewise the bad things. But now he is being comforted here and you are being tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who wish to cross over from here to you may not be able to do so, and they may not cross over from there to us.’ 27 So he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, in order that he may warn them, lest they should also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham says, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone should go to them from the dead, they will repent.’ ”

From Revelation 6:9-11 below we learn about the capabilities and attributes of the souls of the martyrs under the altar.  They could speak and call out.  They had a yearning and longing, a will or desire.  Thus they had an intelligence too, which is also born out by their ability to converse intelligently.  They possessed a knowledge, namely that the day of judgment was coming when the Lord would avenge their deaths.  They did not know all things, however, for they did not know how long it would be before the day of judgment.  They were capable of recognizing the Lord.  They could understand what they were told.

Revelation 6:9-11: And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the word of God and the testimony that they held fast. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice, saying, “ How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 And a white robe was given to each of them, and it was said to them that they should rest a short time yet, until also their fellow bondservants and their brothers who were about to be killed as they were should be completed.

In this fifteenth section of this Bible study we have discovered why we say the soul is immortal.  The reason is the Scriptures clearly teach us the soul lives after death when it is separated from the body.  It is capable of seeing, hearing, thinking, conversing, remembering, and recognizing.  How the soul is capable of doing these things, however, we cannot understand now.  And the soul has an intelligence, a will, and emotions, all of which prove the soul is a separate, living individual or person.

16. What part do the angels play in our deaths?

a. The dying have sometimes reported seeing an angel at their bedside or in their room.  This being true, it would appear the Lord sends his guardian angels to watch over his believers through death and permits his believers to see visions of them to strengthen their faith in that great hour of trial.  Seeing their presence would be comforting and reassuring.

b. From Jesus’ story of Lazarus and the rich man, we saw that the angels carried Lazarus to heaven after his death.  See Luke 16:22 above.

c. Matthew 24:31 and Mark 13:27 inform us that the angels at the time of the final judgment will also take us to heaven.

Matthew 24:31: And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other.

Mark 13:27: And then he will send the angels and gather his elect from the four winds from the end of the earth even to the end of heaven.

d. As the holy angels are with us and watch over us during our lives, so they are also with us and watching over us at the time of our deaths, according to our Lord’s word in Psalm 91:11: “For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.”  And guarding us in all our ways, when we die and enter into eternity they will be there to lead us into heaven.  How comforting it is for us to know that when we leave this world to enter the next, and we do not know what we are to do nor what to expect at the moment of our death, God has commanded his holy angels to accompany us and to direct us to the place we are to go.

In this sixteenth section of this Bible study we have discovered that the holy angels are with us in our deaths, watching over us.  They are our guides to heaven and will take us there to be with our Lord.

17. Death for us Christians is really what?

a. Revelation 14:13 below tells us that our deaths as Christians are really a blessing.

Revelation 14:13: And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”

b. The reason our death is a blessing is because of all the above things we have learned in this Bible study.  We are delivered from all the evil and the consequences of sin that we suffer in this world during our lives.  We then enter into the joyous blessedness of being with the Lord in heaven, where we are perfectly happy, holy, content, and immortal, and where we are with the holy angels and have all that the Lord has prepared for us in heaven.

In this final section of this Bible study we have discovered that for us Christians our deaths are a blessing.

18. On the subject of preparing for death see the tracts under the title of Fear Not Death, O My Soul on this Christian Inconnect website.



Unpublished work. Copyright © 2011 JCS of Christian Inconnect. All rights reserved.  No part of this document may be reproduced for distribution or publication without prior permission from Christian Inconnect.

All Scripture verses on this web page, unless otherwise indicated, are a translation of the pastor of Christian Inconnect and are a part of the Christian Inconnect Version (CIV), on which he is working. He reserves all rights to his translated verses and to their copyright ©. They may not be quoted without his prior permission.

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