It’s the most obvious, avoided question on record. Obvious, because there is a pretty high percentage rate of people who will have to face it. (Last I checked it was 100%.) Avoided, because if you don’t know the answer, or aren’t sure about it, it’s the last thing you want to face into.
I had to read a book for a sociology class in college called, The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford, published in 1963 and revisited in 1996. I love the New York Post review: “Brilliant … hilarious … A must-read for anyone planning to throw a funeral in their lifetime.” Mitford’s classic is about the funeral industry and how we spend most of our time and money pretending death doesn’t exist when we all know that it is the surest bet in life.
When the first man and woman let the DNA of sin loose on the human race, God had already pronounced the sentence: “for in the day that you eat from [the tree] you will surely die” (Genesis 2:17), and sure enough, they did, and so has everyone since. The fact that we have 70, maybe 80 years at best to think about it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a done deal. The fact that we have a chance to think about it at all is nothing short of the grace of God.
Life is nothing but an extended death. Like the way everything slows down before a serious crash so that you have time to think about your options of survival and choose the best course of action, so God slowed down the death process to give us a chance to respond to the gift of life eternal He is offering through His son on the cross. This was the plan all along. God could have snuffed out the human race right then and there, but instead, His son became the lamb of God “slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). See, He had a solution in place before we even started.
Zombies are a big deal now in movies, television and video games. No wonder. Deep in our psyches we all know we are the walking dead. So you can do all kinds of wonderful and incredible things in your lifetime, but if you don’t do business with God over this one thing, it will all come to naught. You will have missed the reason you lived.
I taught about this yesterday to a group of Christians who acted like it was the first time they’d thought about it. Even believers are uncomfortable with this subject, when, in fact, it should be our favorite, because we, of all people, can answer the question.
Imagine having a strong, solid, knowledge, beyond the shadow of a doubt, what the answer to the question of death is. Imagine no more.
For we know that if the earthly tent [mortal body] we live in is destroyed, we have a building [resurrected body] from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. (2 Corinthians 5:1)