Trinity Fellowship Church | Syracuse, NY

Why Do We Have To Die?

Years ago, reading a humorous compilation of children’s letters to God, I stuffed copies of a few of the children’s questions about death into my Ecclesiastes file. They could have served well as an introduction to this past Sunday’s sermon, but, alas, while preparing, I forgot about them. So here you have them today:

Dear God,
Here’s a poem:
I love you because you give, us what we need to live.
But I wish you would tell me why, You made it so we have to die. –Daniel (age 8)

Dear God,
Instead of letting people die and haveing to make new ones,
Why don’t you just keep the ones you got now? –Jane.

Here’s a succinct answer to the question from D.A. Carson’s book, How Long, O Lord?

Death is God’s limit on creatures whose sin is that they want to be gods. The true God is holy; he is unique, and cannot, by his very nature, tolerate those who try to relativize him. We are not gods; and by death we learn that we are only human. Our pretensions are destroyed.

If you are looking for places in Scripture to park this week, spend some time looking at how this theme is presented in Genesis 2-3 and Psalm 90.

And then, on victory over death, read 1 Corinthians 15. Here’s one piece of background information that helps in reading 1 Cor. 15. In the first century Mediterranean world, it was commonly held that death releases the soul from the shackles and corruption of the physical body. Influenced by the thinking of their day, although the Corinthian Christians believed in a conscious afterlife, they were having trouble believing that they would have bodies in the afterlife. With this background in mind, spend some time reading 1 Cor. 15 slowly and meditatively.

The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

–Stefan

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