Why do we all eventually die? In this Little Lessons series, Bible teacher David Servant tackles this age-old question with the wisdom and hope of God’s Word. Learn more!
Why Do We All Eventually Die? (Part 1)
I want to talk about why we die. And death is such a normal and expected facet of life that it seems that few people question the reason for it. Again, it’s just expected, everybody once they reach a certain age, realizes, “Hey, everybody dies eventually. I’m going to die eventually.” But they never stop and think about actually how weird death is in light of our observations of life and of growth and of creation.
What am I talking about? Well, let’s just say, for example, that you didn’t know that people all eventually die. All right. So I know that sounds hard to imagine, but just imagine you didn’t know people die. And you observed the following. You saw a young woman who began in her midsection to grow larger and larger as every week and month went by. And you asked her, “What’s going on there with your body?”
And she said, “Oh, there’s a baby, a little human being that at one time was just the union of a sperm and an egg, just microscopically small. But the cells kept dividing and dividing and the cells began to specialize and some things became a heart and some cells became lungs, some things became brains and muscle and bone and liver and intestines and eyeballs. And this thing is developing in my body right now.” Well, that’s incredible, right? That’s nothing short of absolutely stunningly astonishing that that would happen. But again, we take that for granted.
“So after about nine months, this baby is going to be developed enough that it can actually exist outside of me. And I’m going to give birth to this little boy or little girl. And as soon as this thing comes out, it’s going to know how to nurse from my breasts. I don’t have to teach it. I don’t have to give it lessons, pre-programmed. And this thing poops and pees and cries, but it doesn’t really do anything much other than that, it sleeps. And that’s how it is for months and months. But really you can see progress because, after so many weeks or months, they start smiling at you when you look at them and they start trying to make some sounds and so forth. And pretty soon they’re lifting up their head when they’re on their belly. And pretty soon they’re pushing up with their arms.”
Let’s say you watched all this happen. You saw, oh my goodness, this thing came out and now it’s crawling. Oh my goodness. Today it started taking little steps and it started walking on two feet and you say, “This is incredible improvement. This thing is developing and growing magnificently.”
And let’s say, you see the thing, maybe get sick. It gets a cold. And maybe something about the complexity of the human immune system and you realize, “Oh my goodness, some kind of bad virus or bacteria attacked that little toddler’s body and it fought it off. And it won. It got into this microscopic battle.” And God has made this amazing immune system that is able to keep this thing going when something else wants to kill it. This thing almost seems indestructible.
And again, if we just thought about this as I’m trying to provoke you to think about it right now, you would never think that this thing as you watch that baby turn into a toddler, turn into a child, grow into a pre-adolescent, goes through the changes of adolescence. Learns, develops the personality, develops the intellect, develops the physical abilities. It fights off sickness, after sickness, after sickness.
And again, I grant you that some children don’t recover. Some children die and succumb to diseases, but the majority of them survive. And if you watched that, you would conclude this thing is built to last forever. Death is… This thing ceasing and being still and having no life, are you kidding me? This marvelous, marvelous creation of God that has the stamp of divinity all over it. Undeniably, nobody can explain the millions of things that go on in the human body.
And again, just thinking how it matures. You would just think, “Well, this thing’s built to last forever. It adapts, it overcomes, it keeps growing. It keeps developing, it keeps getting better and better.” And you might watch it up to about age 30 and still be convinced about that. Maybe 35, at some point in there, the human body hits a peak and it just isn’t quite as good as it was at one time. And the older we get, the more susceptible we are to succumbing to disease and so forth. And then if you kept watching eventually you’re going to see the thing die.
But here’s my point. I got to make this point. Right. You have to get this. You have to see this because we ask the question, why do we die? People say, “Why do you even ask that question? Come on. Face reality. We all die.” No, no, no. I want you to look at things as if you didn’t know that we all die. And imagine the conclusion that you would come to as you watch for five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years of this human being getting better and better and better and better and fighting off all kinds of foreign invaders that try to bring it down and so on. I mean, you just think, “This thing’s invincible. This thing is absolutely invincible.”
But it’s not. Something doesn’t work quite as well and eventually we all succumb to death. But you can see without ever having to read your Bible, know anything about God at all, it’s obvious to thinking people that the human body wasn’t meant to die. It was meant to live forever. That was clearly the intention. Of course, we know that biblically. But if you just look at how things naturally are, that’s the conclusion that you would come to.
And some philosophers have come to that conclusion who think about these things and think about how amazing the human body is and how well it does for so long. And they question, “Why do we die?” Well, was God just not talented enough or gifted enough to create a body that would last forever? Well, we know that’s not true from the Bible because God’s one day going to give us all new bodies that are what we refer to as glorified bodies that will never die. We’re going to get brand new incorruptible bodies, if you believe in Jesus Christ.
See, so God’s able to do it. So why do we die? Now the Bible gives the answer, but I’m out of time. So I’m going to have to do a part two on this question, which is fine. Okay. So, I hope you join me next time as we try to understand what the Bible says, explain to us why we all eventually die. Till next time, may the Lord bless you.
Why Do We All Eventually Die? (Part 2)
We’re looking at a question that not a lot of people have thought about, but thinking people have thought about it. And you’re thinking about it if you watched our last Little Lesson of “Why do we all eventually die?” It’s clear from observation that the human body was not designed by God to die. It was designed to live eternally, but something goes wrong in everybody’s body. But if you watched most people’s bodies for the first five, 10, 15, 20 years, as it grows and develops and matures, and there’s a million, a hundred million miracles that take place in and everybody that exists over those couple of decades, there’s billions of miracles that happen just about every second in everybody’s body.
It’s got the stamp of divinity all over it. And so this miraculous machine, this incredible creation that starts off as just two cells in the womb of its mother and ultimately becomes something that looks a little bit like this, that can talk and walk and see and remember, and think and ponder and breathe and run and create. And so, God’s in this. And so we just have to say, what went wrong? I mean, cause every body, everybody’s body succumbs to death, eventually. Why? Well, the Bible gives the answer to that question. And one verse, really many verses, but one verse comes to mind, Romans five and verse number 12, Paul wrote, “Just as sin entered the world through one man,” that would, of course be Adam. He was the first man, the first guy to sin.
And then Paul says, “And death through sin,” so he’s saying sin into the world through Adam and that’s how death got in. And then he said, “And then all died because all sinned.” And that, my dear friend, is the answer to the question. Why do we all eventually die? It’s because God has decreed that we would all eventually die. This marvelous creation created in his image, because it sins, the penalty is death. You remember, that’s what God told Adam. “I’ve got all these trees, enjoy these trees, buddy. Every kind of fruit you could ever dream of, but here’s one tree, just don’t eat from this tree. Because if you eat from that tree, you’ll die.” It wasn’t like the tree had some poison in it that killed Adam and Eve. No, it was the fact that they disobeyed God and God said in the day you eat it, you will die.
Now we’ll talk about this a little bit more in a little more detail later on, but Adam didn’t die physically on the day that he ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. So that’s why theologians have come up with another term that describes what happened to Adam. He died spiritually. His spiritual nature was changed. And there are many things to talk about regarding that. Okay. But you notice that after he sinned, he was hiding from God. And when God came walking in the garden, it hurt his relationship with God. And the Bible talks about how that’s what’s happened to all of us. Paul wrote in Ephesians, “You were dead in your trespasses and sins,” speaking of spiritual death. Because he was writing to people in this case, the Ephesians who were physically alive when he was writing it.
But he said, “You were dead in your trespasses and sins.” So that’s what theologians call spiritual death. And one mark of it is alienation from God. You don’t have the same relationship that Adam had before he sinned. And there is debate within Christian circles, whether or not children are born spiritually dead, or if they’re born spiritually alive. And then once they reach an age of accountability and choose to go the wrong way, which we all have, then they die spiritually. And from that point on where they need to be born again, if they’re going to receive eternal life. That’s what Jesus said, right? Unless you’re born again. And then he also said, “Unless you become like little children,” so obviously see little children have something that adults don’t have, unless you become little children, you’ll never enter the kingdom of heaven.
That sounds like little children, if they die, they would enter the kingdom of heaven. Why? I think, and you can disagree with me and I still love you. But I think actually, and I think there’s scripture that backs up this idea that children are born spiritually alive. And maybe you can remember when you died spiritually. I can remember when I died spiritually, I can remember having a relationship with God. I just intuitively felt connected to Him, talked to Him, was aware of Him. But as I was tempted in my pre-adolescent years and so forth and I succumbed to sin, I lost it, but I got it back. I got it back through Jesus Christ and that’s the only way to get it back. Okay. So why do we die? We die not because Adam sinned, although you could maybe blame him a little bit because he’s the one that let death into the world because he sinned.
But Paul said, “And therefore we all die because we all sin.” So you really can’t blame Adam for your spiritual death and ultimately your physical death. You can only blame yourself. I can only blame myself. I’m not going to say the devil made me do it. I did it. But God is so merciful. You know, God is so merciful and that’s the Good News of the gospel. Jesus said, I’m quoting now from John 11 and verse number 25. He said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. And he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.” So most of us, if we’re not alive when Jesus returns, we are going to die physically, but spiritually you’ll be alive. And your spirit then evacuates your body. Angels will transport you to heaven and you will be enjoying that until the time comes when Jesus comes back and you’ll come back with him and the dead in Christ will be raised and you’ll get a brand new body, a glorified body and physical body at that time.
Okay. A lot of mystery about this stuff, but certainly exciting, exciting stuff. Okay. So, Jesus’s death does not exempt us from ultimate physical death. There are only a certain percentage of Christians who will not physically die. And like I said, those are the ones who will be alive when He returns. But the rest of us, we’re going to die. Now, maybe in our next lesson, we’ll talk about how to die. Do we all have to die of cancer, diabetes, or a stroke? Let’s talk about that next time. Until next time, may the Lord continue to bless you.
Why Do We All Eventually Die? (Part 3)
We’re going to talk one last time on this little lesson about death and why we die. We talked about how death is really actually not part of God’s original plan, and that’s not obvious from just reading the Bible, but that’s obvious from just observation.
When you look at how amazing the human body is and how it does so well for so long, generally speaking, before ultimately it starts, it hits the peak, and starts going downhill, and ultimately succumbs to something that causes its demise. But if you just think about it, you realize obviously, that wasn’t how God designed it to be. God designed the human body to thrive, and grow, and develop, and get better and better, and improve, and so forth. That’s what happens for the first 20 years. And it’s astoundingly amazing. And we surely don’t want to conclude that God just didn’t have it in Him to make a better machine, created in His image.
We know that the Bible tells us, one day we’re all going to get new bodies that will never die. So God’s able to make indestructible, incorruptible bodies. He’s going to do it one day. And actually he did it already. He does it for every single person just about who’s born into this world for quite some time, at least until they die, they’re indestructible. So we’ve talked about how Romans 5:12 says, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin. So death spread to all men because all sin.
And so the reason that we all die physically is because of our sin. Now, one very interesting facet of all, this is the fact that Jesus never sinned. And so he’s a perfect example of a person like everybody else who had an indestructible body, but that it became destructive because he took upon him our sin. Yeah. Now, think about this. You can read in the gospel of John, I think it’s like eight times, the phrase, Jesus’s time had not come yet because there were times when his enemies plotted to kill him and even tried to kill him. Remember in his hometown of Nazareth, they grabbed him and they were going to throw him off of the cliff. They were so upset at his sermon.
I’ve never had anyone that upset at any of my sermons. So I guess, I should feel blessed. But Jesus escaped. Now, how did he do that? Did he say, “Guys, let’s just take a restroom break here and resume this in 10 minutes?” That’s not how he did it. God rescued him. Probably, he just disappeared. And they were holding him at one moment and the next moment they didn’t have him. How else could it have happened? You see, so God continued to rescue Jesus. He was indestructible because of God’s protection, which God can protect anybody and make them indestructible.
And Jesus didn’t die in his sickness or in his disease. And he would have lived forever, except for one thing. He took upon him, our sin and therefore the penalty was death and he died on the cross at Calvary. So that’s an interesting facet of the whole “why do we die” question. So let’s talk about how we’re going to die. Now, I’m 61 as I’m recording this. And I’m just finding that I don’t have quite the strength, and quite the stamina that I had when I was 20, or when I was 30, or even when I was 40. And I’m in my senior years. Now, my hair is turning gray and things just aren’t working as well. In my 40s, I had to start wearing glasses to read and so forth. And then I had to have them to see from far away and the body is just wearing out.
Well, Paul said that, although the outer man is decaying, the inner man is being renewed day by day. So when you look at me and when you look at yourself in the mirror, you’re just seeing the body. You’re not seeing the real person, the spirit which uses that body as a container. When that container is no longer fit, when it doesn’t operate any longer, when it’s dead, the spirit evacuates.
James said that just as the body without the spirit is dead. So he said, “Faith without works is dead.” So he described death as when the spirit evacuates the body. So the new creation, the one who’s been born again, the one that has the Holy Spirit, though the one that says “God is my father,” he’s being renewed day by day. He’s not getting any older because he’s going to live forever. The only thing that’s going to die about me and if you believe in Jesus, is your body, your outward man, the Bible speaks of him that way. Your outward person, but inward person is being renewed day by day, not getting any older. Nice to know, isn’t it? Especially if you’re getting older.
So I’ve actually looked at aging and the decline that occurs in all of our bodies as really a blessing, and that God is sending us a little reminder every time we look in the mirror and every time we get out of a chair and it’s a little bit tougher because you’re a little bit creaky. He’s reminding you, “Hey, you’re not going to live forever. You’re going to be evacuating that body and you’re going to be standing before me, get ready.” So every little wrinkle on your face, don’t be upset about that, be thinking, “God, teach me as Moses prayed, teach us to number our days that we might present unto you a heart of wisdom.”
People who live like they’re never going to die are very foolish people. People who think about death and what lies beyond death are very wise because they’re more likely to get ready for it and think about what they’re going to be saying to God. Hopefully, you’ll be able to say I believed in Jesus and I was born again. And I’ve been living for you and serving you because I believe in Jesus. Jesus said in John 11:25, “I’m the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me, will live even if he dies.”
Now, he didn’t say, “He who believes that I am a historical person, believes that I walked the earth, believes that I lived,” no, no, no, no, “believes in me.” Well, who is Jesus? He’s the Son of God and many other things. But primarily He’s God’s Son. And if you believe He’s God and you repent of your sins and you begin to follow him, and get to know him, and strive to obey him, and do his will.
So ultimately, something’s going to succumb in our body and the heart’s going to stop beating, the lungs are going to stop breathing, and so forth. But I am a firm believer that God’s children shouldn’t have to endure long protracted, debilitating sicknesses and diseases in light of the fact that there’s so many promises in the Bible regarding healing. Now, I realize that something in our bodies has to not function right for the body to ultimately die. So you’re not going to stop that. Okay?
But I have known of lots of people who lived out to a ripe old age and then one day poof, their spirit has left their body. And yeah, they said it was a heart attack or they said it was a stroke, whatever, but it was not long and protracted because God’s good. And there’s so many good promises that we have for that. So that’s what I’m believing anyways. If you don’t want to believe it, that’s fine. I still love you. But God blesses people who have faith and there’s plenty of scripture for that. Okay.
Well, I’m out of time for this little lesson. Thanks so much for joining me as we talk about death. Until next time. May the Lord bless you.