In the 14th century, almost half the population of Europe was wiped out as a result of the Bubonic plague. The plague was brought to Italy on board merchant ships and was found in the fleas on the bodies of rats.
More than any other event in history before that point, the plague brought Europe to its knees. It also brought the people of Europe face to face with their own mortality as never before. Watching their loved ones die around them, people looked to the church for answers.
The answers the church gave them were scary at best and devastating at worst: An eternally burning hell, a place of unending waiting and torment called purgatory, and very little hope beyond the grave. Much like medieval Europe the postmodern world we live in is searching for hope beyond the grave.
While modern science and technology has given us so much, it can’t give us what we long for the most: answers about what happens beyond the grave. But the Bible has those answers. Let’s take a quick look at what the Bible says about death:
Fact number 1. At Creation, God combined dust with breath to make the first man.
The Bible 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 being.” Genesis 2:7.
Fact number 2. The Bible says that the soul of man is mortal and can die.
The Bible says: “Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die.” Ezekiel 18:4.
Fact number 3. Only God has immortality.
The Bible says: “He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:15,16.
Fact number 4. We only receive immortality at Jesus’ second coming
The Bible says: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1Thessalonians 4:16-17
Fact number 5. Jesus described death as a sleep.
The Bible says: “These things He said … ‘Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.’ Then His disciples said, ‘Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.’ However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead.’” John 11:11-14.
Fact number 6. Solomon describes death as a time of unconscious rest.
The Bible says: “For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished.” Ecclesiastes 9:5,6.
Fact number 7. At death the breath God has given us returns to Him.
The Bible says: “For as the body without the spirit (breath) is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26.
Fact number 8. The dead cannot worship God.
The Bible says: “The dead do not praise the Lord, nor any who go down into silence.” Psalm 115:17.
Fact number 9. Only Jesus can unlock the grave.
The Bible says: “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” Revelation 1:18.
And finally, fact number 10. If we have Jesus, we can have the assurance that we will receive immortality at his second coming.
The Bible says: “And this is the testimony; that God has given us eternal life, and this life is by His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11,12.
So, here they are – 10 important facts about death
1. Death is linked closely with how God gave Adam life at creation.
2. The Bible says that the soul of man is mortal and can die.
3. Only God has immortality.
4. We only receive immortality at Jesus’ second coming.
5. Jesus described death as a sleep.
6. Solomon described death as a time of unconscious rest.
7. At death, the breath God has given us returns to Him.
8. The dead cannot worship God.
9. Only Jesus can unlock the grave.
10. If we have Jesus, we can have the assurance that we will receive immortality at His second coming.
The Bible tells us that death is not a dark and uncertain night that we plunge into. It is a quiet moment of rest before we are awakened by Jesus to enjoy eternity with him. For centuries death has both terrified and fascinated the human mind.
But the Bible tells us that we have nothing to fear. Thanks to Jesus’ life, death and resurrection we can have hope beyond the grave and hope for eternity. Would you like to accept the hope that Jesus offers you today?