Life and Death

“SO GOD created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish [fill] the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:27,28) “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”—Gen. 2:15-17

Life began for the first man in the Garden of Eden; he was soon joined by the first woman. What a wonderful prospect lay before them! Had they been obedient to God’s command, they would have lived forever on a perfect earth. But they were not obedient, and therefore death came to them and to all of us, their progeny. For it is written, “And unto Adam he said, Because thou … hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; … In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”—Gen. 3:17-19

Strange as it may seem, the Bible is the only Book that presents the hope of life after death as dependent upon the resurrection of those who have died. The theories of reincarnation and transmigration are philosophies of error. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life,” and the great Apostle Paul explained why such a hope of life through Christ is valid, when he wrote, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Cor. 15:22) The transgression of the first man Adam is offset by the obedience of the second Adam, even to the death of the cross. This is the truth that is propounded by the statement that Jesus “gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”—I Tim. 2:6

Life in general is sweet; it is wrong to think that this life which we enjoy, even with its pains and heartaches, is only a vale of tears. It is much more than that! Life should be measured by the opportunity it presents of our serving others, whether by charitable help or assisting counsel. And the enjoyment of life is realized by unselfish fellowship with others. And thus we learn the meaning of life and its true value in the performing of these simple duties. But we must look further: to the service of God; to the doing of his will and enjoying fellowship and communion with the One who gave us life in Eden, and who sent his Son to be our Redeemer; and has promised us everlasting life through his plan of redemption. And these blessings of life will reach not only us who are now alive, but also those who are dead. For it is written, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live … the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth.”—John 5:25-29

Dawn Bible Students Association
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