Doctrine of Death
Doctrine • Sermon • Submitted
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This would seem to be a pretty cut and dried case, but there’s more to this doctrine than at first meets the eye.
Hopefully at the end of this you see just how important this doctrine is, especially as it relates to our salvation.
15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The Doctrine of death - we’re all going to die one day and we have no idea when that will be
Why do we die? Why is there such a thing as “death” in the universe? And why do we look at it as such a tragedy?
We read, maybe we know someone, who have experienced stillborn births, children dying as babies, or very young. Did God make a world where babies are born dead?
What about natural disasters? People die every year in earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods. Did God create a world that seems to seek to kill us at every opportunity?
And it’s not just human death either
We see a record of death in the fossil record
All over the earth is layer after layer after layer of sedimentary deposits containing the fossils of billions and billions of death animals
We’re living on top of a massive graveyard. Why? Did God make the world that way?
Also within the fossil record is evidence of other things:
Pain, creatures being buried alive, being swallowed up in tar pits
Killing, fossils of animal remains in the stomachs of other animals.
disease, thorns, struggle, suffering, extinction
There is a worldview that views death as a natural part of the universe. In fact, death is the hero of the story
According to evolution we ascended to this lofty position, homo Sapien Sapien, through a process of millions and billions of years of death and struggle
You see, without death, there is no survival of the fittest. No natural selection. And therefore, no evolution.
Survival of the fittest - Who survives? And who is killed off?
Natural Selection - Who gets selected? Who gets killed off?
The Biblical view of death is quite a bit different. In fact, diametrically opposed in every way.
The Bible declares that man was created in a perfect world WITHOUT death, disease, thorns, and suffering
Then we sinned, and because of our disobedience, we brought sin and death into the world
Death is an intruder. An enemy!
In evolution we have death before man. In the Bible we have man before death.
We can only believe one of them. They are incompatible. Water and Oil. One of these views is right. The other is wrong
I believe God. Let’s look at scripture a bit more closely now
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Mankind was originally vegetarian.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
The animals were also vegetarian. No one ate meat!
ALL animals! The lion. The alligator. The eagle. All of them were vegetarian, IF you believe God’s testimony.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
God declared His creation at this point to be very good.
At this point death was not present in God’s creation
Ahh, but what about the plants? Didn’t the plants die when they were eaten?
Biblically, plants don’t die.
Psalm 37:2 “2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.”
Isaiah 15:6 “6 For the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate: For the hay is withered away, the grass faileth, there is no green thing.”
Jonah 4:7 “7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.”
Isaiah 1:30 “30 For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, And as a garden that hath no water.”
Isaiah 40:8 “8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: But the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
Remember this! This comes into play a bit later in our lesson.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
God’s commandment to Adam and Eve was this: Don’t eat the fruit of this one tree!
God also let them know the consequence for disobedience. The price for sin. Death!
Romans 6:23 “23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Sin comes first, then death. We cannot have death before sin. Not biblically.
That’s the problem with evolution: They put death before man and therefore, before man’s sin.
Put a bookmark on that, we’ll return to that later.
Well, they did exactly what they were told not to do.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Notice their initial reaction: They attempted to cover their sin themselves, and their own way.
They covered themselves in plants. But plants would not be sufficient
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Because of man’s sin, the entire earth was cursed, and mankind would now be subject to disease, suffering, struggle, death
Because of man’s sin, the animals would be subject to disease, suffering, struggle and death
Because of man’s sin, the entire creation was cursed
Romans 8:21-22 “21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”
21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
God demonstrated to them a truth that would only be fulfilled in Jesus Christ: That it would take the shedding of blood to cover sin. That the wages of sin is always death.
Plants cannot die. Animals can. So God killed animals and covered the sin of Adam and Eve
Later we find Cain and Abel offering sacrifice to God, Abel offered of the firstlings of his flock, and animal, and God had respect to Abel’s offering. Cain offered to God the fruit of the ground, plants, and God did not respect his offering. Why?
No blood. No death. No remission, no covering for sin.
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Why the big deal about thorns?
According to evolutionists, the thorn fossils we find are supposedly 360-408 million years old. Well before man ever shows up
If this is true, that the earth is billions of years old and these fossils are many millions of years old, the we have death before sin, we have thorns before man’s sin, and God lied to us!
But if God is telling the truth, and I believe He is, then those millions of years are a lie. They never happened. They’re make-believe. The result of using faulty dating methods based on faulty assumptions and interpreted those results through a faulty worldview.
There’s another problem if we accept millions of years.
We see evidence of dinosaurs having cancer. Bone cancer, even brain tumors. Researchers indicate that cancer has been around a very long time and remains, essentially unchanged.
If dinosaurs had cancer, and suffered from disease and death, many millions of years before man comes on the scene, we again have a sin curse before sin.
Before sin God called His creation “very good”. Is cancer “very good”?
The fact is, there are not millions of years.
The earth is, according to scripture, about 6,000 years old.
God created everything perfectly and “very good”
Man sinned and through his sin brought the curse of sin on all creation; sickness, natural disasters, decay, suffering, struggle, death
We live in that world today. In fact, Jesus was born into that world.
This world is not how God created it originally. This world is in a state God never intended for it.
26 And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.
From the time of Adam to the time of Jesus, God required a blood sacrifice for our sins. A substitutionary sacrifice to pay the price we could never pay.
Jesus came to be our substitutionary sacrifice. An blood sacrifice that would once and for all cover our sin.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Not only did Jesus die, but He was also raised from the dead, demonstrating that this enemy, death, this unnatural intruder, has been defeated because our sin, the cause of death, has been fully atoned for.
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
This is why we need to establish when death entered creation. Did it enter before sin or after?
If Death was present before sin, then death is NOT the consequence of sin.
If that’s true, then the whole system of a substitutionary sacrifice is a sham because death has nothing to do with sin
If that’s true, then the sacrifice of Jesus is utterly irrelevant.
If that’s true, then there is no salvation.
This topic is THAT important!
Someday God is going to restore His creation to its original state
Was our original state under the effects of death, disease, natural disasters, suffering and pain?
Is that what God is going to create when He creates a new heaven and a new earth?
I know Christians, UPCI ministers, who claim it doesn’t matter when we believe God created everything, how He created everything, how old the earth is, we just need to be saved.
They obviously haven’t made the connection between this topic and salvation.
Because if the answer is an old earth theology, then death came before sin and Christ’s sacrifice is irrelevant. There is no salvation!
The Secularist and the Evolutionist believes that death has always been a part of reality, and that it was through death and suffering that we evolved to this present state.
And yet the secularist will cry when a loved one dies. They’ll weep when a spouse or a child dies. Why? It’s natural! The weak die off to make room for the strong!
They cry because in their heart of hearts, as well as in ours, we all know this isn’t right. This isn’t suppose to happen. It’s NOT natural!
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Because of Adam’s sin death came into the world because the consequence of sin is death
James 1:15 “15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Romans 5:12 “12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
Death reigned from then until Jesus Christ
Romans 5:17 “17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)”
Because of the one, perfect and final sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our substitutionary sacrifice, our sin debt is completely paid in full. The burden of our sin is gone.
Jesus demonstrated that this was indeed the case by resurrecting Himself from the dead
He was only able to do that because the cause of death, sin, had been dealt with once and for all
His resurrection was an open declaration to all that He had conquered death, because He had paid the price for our sin.
The two go hand in hand.