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It Is Appointed for Men to Die Once

We seldom want to contemplate death—either ours or someone else's. When a loved one dies, we grieve—as we should.

It is obvious, however, that our bodies weren't designed to last forever. As Hebrews 9:27 tells us, "It is appointed for men to die once."

God did not design our bodies to last more than a few decades. Psalm 90:10 reminds us that "the length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength" (NIV). With the medical advances, hospitals and technology developed over the last century, our life span is about the same as it was when this psalm was written several thousand years ago. Some will live more and some less, but that's about what most of us can expect. Life is short, too brief to waste time on things that, in the end, are not all that important.

We shouldn't be surprised when death knocks at the door. It's simply the way we were made. As the grass that grows up and then withers, and the flowers of the fields that bloom for a few days and just as quickly fade, so do we flourish for a time before we wither and die (Isaiah 40:6-8). Our physical bodies will age and wear out. God did not design them to be permanent.

However, that is not to say that this is the end. Faithful Job knew that he would rest in the grave until a coming resurrection. "If only you would hide me in Sheol [the grave], conceal me until your anger is past, and only then fix a time to recall me to mind! I would not lose hope, however long my service, waiting for my relief to come. You would summon me, and I would answer; you would long to see the creature you have made" (Job 14:13-15, Revised English Bible).

Though death is sad, by no means is it the end of hope. God promises a resurrection to immortality for His faithful servants to reign with Jesus Christ and help Him administer God's Kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:50-54; Revelation 20:4-6; 5:10).

For those who have not known or accepted Christ, God will bring about a different resurrection at a later time so that they, too, can learn the truth of His plan and receive His gift of salvation. (You'll learn more about this in the last chapter of this booklet.)

For greater understanding of what the Bible reveals, be sure to read our booklets What Happens After Death? and Heaven and Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach?

 

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