A reader asks:
What does the bible say about the way we die? Or what’s your opinion? Some people die peacefully and other so horrifically. Why?
The Bible really doesn’t address the “way” we die but it does address that:
- We all die
- Life is but a vapor in eternity (James 4)
- Suffering here cannot be compared to either the glory of heaven or the hopelessness of hell (Romans 8)
- We are “scheduled” to die once then face accountability from God (Hebrews 9)
To answer your second question we first have to understand one foundational truth: all good things are a blessing from God, and all “bad” things are a result of the sin curse on humanity which entered by Adam in the Garden of Eden (Romans 5). Jesus Christ has redeemed (“solved” or “fixed” for the purpose of this answer) the sin curse spiritually giving humans an immediate way to have the sin curse removed from their eternal spirit by God’s grace through obedient faith in Jesus Christ.
What many Christians fail to understand because they simply haven’t been taught or haven’t studied “redemption” fully, is that Jesus has redeemed the PHYSICAL world too, include our bodies, the earth and the heavens. But this comes later in the God’s plan when Jesus returns to earth and God dissolves the current creation in fire and re-creates it brand new MINUS the sin curse (too involved to fully explain in this post; get my free eBook on “Heaven” and it explains this in more detail: http://brentriggs.com/default.aspx?show=books)
Given that truth, we can know and find comfort that anything “horrible” can always be traced back to the sin curse (comfort knowing it is temporary and “fixable” by God); there is nothing “horrible” without sin: sickness, disease, war, suffering… it’s all because of sin entering into God’s perfect creation when the first humans (Adam and Eve) chose to reject God and believe Satan’s lie (and don’t blame them; you would have sinned too, me too).
When the sin curse is finally removed, so will all things “horrible”.
Why God allows even His own children and those who believe in Him to “die horrible deaths” is known only to God. Of course He could simply speak a word or think a thought and end all suffering. But we must not impugn God for His choices or plan or we make ourselves “god”. What we have to accept without doubt or prideful question is God’s love, justice, perfection and sovereignty… we rest in those known attributes even when we can’t reconcile difficult concepts or realities. In other words, we know God is perfect, God is love and God is just… so whatever the Creator “allows” cannot be questioned or indicted by the “created” anymore than a tree can condemn man for deciding it would be chopped up, boiled, pressed and finally used as toilet paper. God is perfect and God is love; we rest in that incomplete understanding until the day we “see clearly” when we are face to face with Him.
We know as well, that for Christians, all of life is but a “vapor” in time, with death being but a wisp of that vapor. We cannot begin to compare any difficulty, tragedy or suffering in this life to what glory God has in store for us in eternity… therefore, we have hope and can “live with” whatever this life can throw at us, even the worst of it. This is why Christians should not “despair like those who have no hope.” (1Thessalonians 4)
If we could answer all the hard questions in life, we would be God. If we could reconcile the irreconcilable, we would be like the Creator. We aren’t. And we shouldn’t try to be (but we often do which leads to many of the divisions and arguments among Christians). This is not a cop-out. This is humble and mature nod of submission byt the creature to the all-loving and all-powerful Creator.