Sunday, March 1, 2015

Devotion: Does God Choose When We Die?

Yesterday, we found that God had given us “the power of choice, the power to choose life or death, blessings or cursings” (Deuteronomy 30:19).  According to the scripture, we are told “to therefore choose life.”  Sometimes when studying the scriptures, it is important to see what the scriptures are not saying so that we can determine and fully understand what the scriptures are saying.  In this case, what this scripture does not say is that God is going to make or has already made the choice for us.  This is something that God has given each one of us the power, the ability, and the freedom to do, to choose between life and death.  But doesn’t God decide or choose when we die?  This is one of the many highly debated topics in Christianity and many religious circles, with each position clearly grounded in their beliefs by what they have determined to scriptural evidence to support their argument.

According to scripture, “Death came into the world because of what one man (Adam) did” (I Corinthians 15:21-22) when he disobeyed God’s prohibition, “causing death to be king (reign) over all” (Romans 5:17) and “causing many to be made sinners” (Romans 5:19).  We see from scripture that death, which was “passed to all men,” is a direct result of one man’s disobedience (Romans 5:12).  And because of Adam’s actions, “it is appointed once or destined for each of us to die” (Hebrew 9:27).  Most people know that Jesus claimed “victory over death” (I Corinthians 15:55-57), but most people do not know that “death is an enemy to God” (I Corinthians15:26) and that “Jesus Christ was manifested that he might destroy the works of him (I John 3:8) that had the power of death and to deliver them, who through this fear of death, were subjected to a lifetime of bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).  You will have to read the passages to see whom it is that has the power of death.  The answer just might surprise you.

Because of a statement by Job, many believe that “the Lord gives and he takes away” (Job 1:21), which has strongly been associated with life and death.  There is no debate that God is the giver of life, which in itself is a gift from God.  However, God tells us that his “gifts are without repentance” (Romans 11:29), which means that God does not take back his gifts.  Scripture also tells us that “the number of our days be three score and ten,”which translates to seventy years and “if by reason of strength they be fourscore years,” which is eighty years (Psalm 90:10).  But does any of this translate into God choosing when we die?  Or, do we actually have a say it the process?  This is a determination that you will have to make.

Clearly, we support the belief of choice as opposed to the belief of predestination.  This is not to say that we can stop death from coming because scripture tells us that we are destined to die.  There are choices that we make throughout our lifetime that dramatically affect our lifespan, either by shortening it or by lengthening it.  But regardless of what you read here in this commentary, you need to thoroughly examine and check out all of the information that has been shared with you to make sure that none of it is contrary to the word of God.  Never accept anyone’s interpretation for something that you have not investigated yourself.  Words can be manipulated to say many things, just make sure the ones that you accept are those of God and not those of man.  God tells us that knowing the truth will make us free (John 8:32) and hopefully today’s message will do just that, help you to seek the truth.  If this message is a blessing to you, please share it so that others may be blessed by it as well.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

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