My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Most of the evil happening in the world today are as a result of man’s erroneous belief that death is the end of all things – the "man die go" theory. As a result many deviate to every available negative means – lying, stealing, robbery, cheating, duping, killing, prostitution etc to get wealth
or money in order to enjoy the "one" life. Let us eat and drink they say, for tomorrow we die. I will never forget the experience I had with a young lady some years ago. I had wanted to get the gospel across to her. After listening briefly to me she replied in 'pidgin English' "leave me booo, make I enjoy my life, you no know say death dey front.” This simply means, leave me alone to enjoy my life before death catches up with me.
People are also known who resort to various means - ritualistic sacrifices, accumulation of so called protective charms; witchcraft etc in order to protect and prolong their lives. Death that dreadful word, no one wants to mention! But quite unknown to many, death has a solution - a remedy, a cure. Death has been defeated, destroyed and abolished. There is now HOPE beyond the grave, there is a resurrection, there is another life – the life which is life indeed! So, if a man dies, shall he live again? The answer is yes, yes and yes again; and you too will live and live again if you would believe. In this message we shall be looking at (i) What death is (ii) The cause of death (iii) Remedy for death.
(i) What is death? For us to clearly understand what death is, we shall first be looking at the nature of man. The Bible is the only Book in the whole world that gives us satisfactory and true account of man's beginning. In Gen. 1:27 we read "So, God created man in His own image - ... male and female created He them. Mal. 2: 10 says "Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us? and Acts 17:26 says For God" hath MADE of one blood all nations of men to dwell in all the face of earth". So, God made man, period. God made man a tripartite being; to consist of three component parts; body, soul and spirit, Gen. 2:7 says “ The LORD GOD formed man of the dust of the ground (body) and breathed into his nostrils the breath (Spirit) of the, and man became a living soul. 1 Thess 5:23 says “And the very God of Peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole Spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Also Heb4:12 says “for the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two –edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and narrow….
There are other scripture that talk about the soul and spirit in man. Isaiah 5 7:16 says "The souls which I have made" Zech. 12: 1 says ... "Thus says the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the Spirit of man within him" See also Job 32:8, Num. 16:22, 2 Cor. 4: 16.
It is the Spirit that gives man God consciousness - the ability to communicate with God. The soul gives man self consciousness - the ability to be a person - personality while the body gives man world conscious - the ability through the sense to understand.
However these three components of man can be classified into two - the physical element - (the body) and the spiritual (soul & spirit). This is why some scripture simply talk about the body and spirit as in 1 Cor 6:20, “that ye glorify God in your body and in your spirit:”……. Job 14:22 says “His flesh upon him shall have pain and his soul within him shall mourn. 2 Cor 4:16 simply says the “outward man” and the “inward man” The outward man or body is mortal, that is subject to decay or corruption or death (Rm. 6:12, 8:11) the inward man or soul is the man. The body is our earthly house.In 2 Corith 5:1 the scripture says “ for we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in heaven. See also 2 Pet. 1:13, 14; Phil. 1:21-24. The soul can exist while separated from the body (2 Cor. 5:8, Lk. 16: 19-31)
In Matt. 17: 1-3 we see a striking example to the above. Moses and Elijah talked to Jesus on the mount. Yet, the scripture recorded in Deut. 34:5, 6 that Moses died in the land of Moab and was buried in a valley. But we read here he appeared on the Mount. He is not resurrected from the dead yet, but it clearly shows that his soul was not destroyed with his body. Jesus taught that the ancient prophets were still living - Matt. 22:32 - "I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, God is not the God of the dead but of the living. John also under the Alter saw the souls of them that were slain for the word God (Rev. 6:9, 10).
WHAT THEN IS DEATH? From the above discussions, we can safely say that death as applied to man in scripture means separation. Natural death is the separation of the physical (body) from the spiritual (soul & spirit). In James 2: 26 we read "for the body without the spirit is dead ...” and Gen. 35:16 - 19 gives us a vivid description of death thus "And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachael travailed, and she had hard labour. Vs. 18 and it came to pass, as her SOUL was in DEPARTING (FOR SHE DIED) that she called him Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin vs. 19 and Rachael DIED and was buried. Also Acts 5: 10 and Lk. 2:46 described it as yielding up the Ghost. So at death there is simply a separation between the physical and the spiritual. The body returns. to the dust and the spirit departs to the place determined by the word of God, depending on the life such a one lived on Earth i.e. how he obeyed or failed to obey God's Holy Word (Gen. 3: 19; Ecc.12:7, Lk. 16: 19 €23). The real us is our Soul (the inner man). When the Soul leaves the body, the body cannot talk, or walk, or think but the Soul can do all these
(ii) CAUSE OF DEATH: Though we have dwelt mainly on the Physical death, the Scripture talks of other death- the spiritual death and the Second or eternal death. The spiritual death is separation from God because of Sin (Matt 8:22, Ezekiel 2:1, 5, Col 2: 13) One spiritually dead can be alive physically or he can be dead physically and alive in hell, Conscious in the' Soul and Spirit or the inner man. Before one dies physically, he can be resurrected from this type of death. This takes place when one is saved from death in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2: 1-10), when he repents and is born again (Lk. 13: 1-5; In. 3: 1-8), when he is made a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17-18) and is fully reconciled to God through Christ (Eph. 2: 12-16; Col 1: 20-22, 2 Cor. 5: 14-21).
The second or eternal death means the eternal separation from God in the lake of fire because of one's refusal to repent before he dies physically (Rev. 2: 11; 20:6,14; 21:8, Matt 25:41)
Nevertheless, whichever type of death there is a root cause for death generally. In Rom. 5: 12 we read "wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by SIN; and so death pass upon all men, for that all have sinned. James 1: 15 puts it this way, "when lust has conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and SIN, when it is FINISHED bringeth forth death. So death is the direct result of sin (disobedience to God's word) SIN IS THE BASIC cause of death. The soul that sinneth shall die it (Eze. 18:20). For the wages of SIN is death Rm. 3:23. By the fall of Adam through disobedience (Gen. 2:15-17, 3: 1-6) the body became a dying, death-dommed body. Ever since, man is born with an appointment with death - it is appointed unto men once to die (Heb. 9:27). Sickness, disease, poison, accidents or whichever means a man dies are not the cause of death but the immediate agency that is used to execute the sentence that was pronounced on mankind in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3: 17-19).
(iii)THE REMEDY FOR DEATH We have already seen that death came in as a result of sin and passed on to all men because all have sinned. Therefore for death to be totally defeated in the life of man, sin must first of all be taken out of the way. Sin must be forgiven and cleansed out of our lives. For this to be possible, the penalty - death, must be paid by one who know no sin. There must be a sacrificial death for Heb 9:22b says "without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins. This is exactly what JESUS CHRIST came down from heaven to do. In John 3: 16 we read "for God so loved the world that" he gave his only begotten son (delivered his only begotten son to die) that whosoever believeth in him should not perish (because he will receive forgiveness and cleansing of sin) but have everlasting life. In Matt. 20:28 Jesus himself said "the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many. John the Baptist spoke of Him thus "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world - John 1:29.
JESUS LIVED A SINLESS LIFE.
Before we look at the death of Christ that actually took away our sins and gave us victory over death, we will first examine his life to be very sure he really lived without sin. The scriptures are our surest reference for God CANNOT LIE. In 1 Peter 2:21, 22 we read, Christ .... did no sin neither was guile found in his mouth. 1 Cor. 5:21 “for He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. Heb. 4: 15 says for we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Jesus himself challenged the Jews in John 8:46 thus "which of you convinceth me of sin? Pontius Pilate, who was Jesus Judge examined Him and said, "I find in Him no fault at all. Even the thief on the cross, Lk. 23:41, referring to Jesus, said, "This man hath done nothing amiss". Judas Iscariot who was one of the disciples and who later betrayed Him testified in Matt. 27:4 "I have sinned, in that I have betrayed INNOCENT BLOOD". And from a hardened Roman Soldier came a wonderful testimony, "CERTAINLY, this was a RIGHTEOUS man".
So from the mouth of Jews and Gentiles, from the mouth of a faithful and a faithless disciple, from the mouth of a Judge who also is a politician and a governor, from the mouth of a hardened criminal - a condemned thief, all say, this man, Jesus" committed no sin; he has done nothing amiss, there is no fault in Him at all, he is INNOCENT, he is a Righteous man. Therefore, let no man deceive you into believing that Jesus committed sins and so died for His own sins. Those are cultic, satanic teachings that are meant to carry you wholesale into Hell. Be warned! Jesus was sinless both externally and internally.
JESUS DIED: it is a fact of history that Jesus died some two thousand years ago. He did not die ordinary death but was crucified (hanged) on the cross. He was about the age of 331/2. He was crucified at about 9.00 a.m. and died about 3.00 p.m. The scripture testify of this. It will be very good for you to pick your Bible and read the whole account of this in Matt. 27:33-56, Lk. 23:32-49, Mark 15:22-37 and John 19:16-30. Do not ignore this. You can read the whole chapters of each to have a clearer understanding too: Jesus died and was certified dead! I warn you again concerning false teachers who say that Jesus did not die, that he only fainted and later was revived. Those are satanic ministers designed to send you to hell. BEWARE!
WHY HE DIED.
We have already seen that there must be a sacrificial death for sin to be purged away (Heb. 9:22). Being therefore human and sinless Jesus became an acceptable sacrifice on Calvary for our sins. Through his death on the cross, He presented to God a sacrifice sufficient to pay for the sins of all mankind. The scripture says “... but now, once …. He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (Heb. 9:26). Again “. . . Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many ... " (Heb. 9:28) He was delivered for our offences (Rm. 4:25). For Christ also hath suffered for sins, the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God (I Pet. 3: 18) Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures (i.e. in fulfillment of the scriptures) - I Cor. 15:3. In Heb. 2:9, we read this wonderful scripture, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should TASTE DEATH FOR EVERY MAN." In verses 14 and 15 of the same Hebrews chapter two we read "for as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise 'took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
So Christ has tasted death for you and delivered you from every form of death (if you believe) He has also by his death destroyed he that has the power of death - the devil. To prove this beyond every reasonable doubt he ROSE again on the third day and is alive forever more. Halleluyah! So, the sting of death is broken and death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? Death has been abolished (2 Tim. 1:10)
WHAT SHOULD THIS MEAN TO US
Let's refer to the Scriptures: 2 Corith 5: 15 "And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again". What do the scriptures mean here? It means that you repent of your sins, that you stop toying with sin, that you stop petting sin in your life, that you stop being a fool for it is a fool who calls sin enjoyment, that you stop living in hypocrisy, that you repent of all your sins and surrender your life fully to Him who died for you to pay the penalty for your sins so you can have victory over DEATH, whether physical, spiritual or eternal. Do this and it shall be WELL with your SOUL. Jesus says "Verily, verily, I say unto you,' He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life'·' (In. 5:24), and again" . . . I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth, in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die (Jn. 11 :25); For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the LORD (1 Thess. 4:16). Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our LORD JESUS CHRIST, AMEN AND AMEN.
If you wish to give your life to Jesus, sincerely pray this prayer from the' dept of your heart. LORD, I know I am a sinner, lost in the world, without hope. Today I acknowledge that Jesus Christ died for my sins. LORD, forgive me, cleanse me, purify me with the blood of Jesus now as I confess my sins (confess your sins) in Jesus name. Amen.
If you have done this you are blessed, you are now a child of God. Look out for a good Bible Church nearest to you and begin to attend fellowship faithfully. Contact us
and we will send you more free E- books/messages that will guide you in your new life and help you make a good success of it.
Remain faithful, remain blessed. Jesus Christ – LORD OF ALL.