Death is something that no one really enjoys talking about. It is a word that causes us to cringe when we speak it. The thought of dying can bring great stress to one’s life. Abraham was a great man. Though a sinner, he lived a life of obedience to God. He was very blessed. He had tremendous wealth, and he passed that wealth on to his children. Abraham is known as the father of many nations. Through his descendants we are given the chosen nation of Israel through which God brings salvation to the world. As great of a man as Abraham was, he still died. Death is a reality that we all must face. As we consider the death of Abraham we are compelled to study this subject of death and ask some very thought provoking questions.
What is death? The first thought provoking question is simple: what is death? The word death basically means the separation of two things. The word is often used in our day to refer to someone or something that has ceased to exist. However, death does not mean to cease to exist. It means to be separated. There are two types of death to make note of. First of all, there is physical death. Physical death is separation of the soul from the body. The soul is eternal whereas the body is temporal. Genesis 2:7 says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” God is eternal. He always has been and He always will be. God is the giver of life. When God breathed into man, He gave man the breath of life. Since God is eternal, the life that God breathed into man is also eternal. The bottom line is, you are going to live forever. Your soul will never die. There will come a day when your eternal soul will leave your temporal body. This process of your soul leaving your body is what we call death. Secondly, there is spiritual death. Spiritual death is the separation of the soul and the body from God. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be considered as physically dead than spiritually dead. Remember, your soul will live forever. Therefore, if you are spiritually dead, you will be forever in the process of death and eternally separated from God.
When do we die? To answer this question, we must again consider the two types of death. When it comes to physical death, we will die at the appointed time. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement.” There is a day that has been set on God’s calendar for you to die. Mark it down, there will come a day when you will experience physical death. The only exception for this is those who are living at the time of the rapture. Look at 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Some of us may not experience physical death, however, most of us will. Therefore, we should live as if we will face physical death. I have heard people claim that they are not preparing for their appointed day to die, because they plan on living to the rapture. This, my friend, is foolishness. You have a responsibility to provide for and prepare your family for the day of your death. It is foolish to not plan for the future. It is foolish to plan as if you will not live to be old or that you will go by way of the rapture. Get your house in order, take care of your affairs, because there is an appointed day for you to die. Now, is it possible for someone to die before that day that God has marked on the calendar of your life? I have also heard of people who will live recklessly because they assume that they will not die until it is God’s time. This is also foolishness. Ecclesiastes 7:17 says, “Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish; why shouldest thou die before thy time.” You see, God does have a plan for your life. Your days are numbered and planned. It is a part of God’s plan that you come to faith in Christ and that you serve Him. It is God’s plan for you to live a long and prosperous life. It is God’s plan for you to be successful in all that you do. Just because something is God’s plan, it does not mean that the entirety of that plan is realized in your life. You can certainly veer from God’s plan by your own choosing. As a matter of fact, sadly, we do that all the time. It is certainly possible that you could die before that appointed day that God has on the calendar. You cannot live foolishly and say, ‘well, I’m not going to die until my time comes anyways.’ You do not know when your time will come. If you continue to live foolishly you can certainly die before your time. The bottom line is that all of us will face physical death, it is inevitable. Now, what about spiritual death? When do we die spiritually? When it comes to spiritual death, we die at the moment of conception. Remember, spiritual death is separation from God. What is it that separates us from God? Sin. When do we become sinners? At the moment of conception. Therefore, we are born dead. Look at Romans 5:12. We have inherited a sin nature. Sin is in the seed of man. It was passed to us the very moment we were conceived. Consider Psalm 51:5. We were conceived in sin. Therefore, we are born spiritually dead. The good news is that by God’s grace and mercy those who die physically before they reach an age where they understand their condition and their need for a Savior, they are granted salvation. Read Romans 1:20. Mankind is held accountable for their sin when they have the ability to clearly see God’s revelation to them. This so-called age of accountability may be different for different people. There is no set age. However, when a person is at a stage in their life when they can understand that God is real and that He is holy and we are not, then they are at a point when they must be held accountable. To be born spiritually dead means that all of us are in need of a Savior. Every single person ever born needs Jesus.
Jesus defeated death when He rose from the grave. We may die physically, but we do not have to continue to be spiritually dead. We can be reconciled to God through faith in the Lord Jesus. What about you? Have you been reconciled to God? Have you believed on Jesus for your salvation?