Man is MORTAL

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True Bible Teaching - Gods Word Explained

Man is MORTAL

Man is MORTAL

A notice board outside a church had on it a simple statement of beliefs and included among them were the All men are MORTALwords;

“Man is Mortal”.

I thought it unusual because it seemed so obvious. ‘Mortal’ means ‘liable to die’ and it is clear that we are all in that unhappy state whether we know it or not. Even crossing the road can be fatal if you don’t look where you are going.

The opposite is immortal – that is, incapable of dying. I’ve never met anyone in that happy condition and I doubt that you have either.

Not so Simple

After a bit of thought I realised the point that was being made on the notice board. You have only to take a stroll through a graveyard to realise that there are many different ideas about death. And if you extend your consideration to think about other religions the scope widens immensely.

It becomes evident that lots of people believe, and even more people hope, that after death life continues in some other form. I was once at the funeral of a keen cricketer who had no religious beliefs whatsoever, but that didn’t stop a friend of his expressing the belief that the deceased was now playing cricket again, this time with a much better team than his earthly colleagues ever achieved.

Those are nice thoughts to express, but are they just make believe?

And how can we know what really happens without dying ourselves to find out?

This leads us to the obvious question “What really happens to me when I die?”

Let us turn to the Bible for God’s answer to this question.

Mortal or Immortal?

It really is very easy to find out about our true nature. Just searching in a Bible Concordance for the words “mortal” and “immortal” will produce the following:

‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker?’ (Job 4:17);

"I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir" (Isaiah 13:12);

"Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts" (Romans 6:12);

"Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen" (1 Timothy 1:17).

Extend your search a little and you will find some clear warnings that human existence can simply cease or perish:

"Nevertheless man, though in honour, does not remain; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the way of those who are foolish, and of their posterity who approve their sayings" (Psalm 49:12–13);

"To give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power" (2 Thessalonians 1:7–9).

Not so Bad

If all the Bible said was that we have no hope of continuing to exist after death, we would need to rename this magazine “Bad Tidings”, but it doesn’t have to be like that at all. Walking through a graveyard recently (and I don’t make a habit of it!) I encountered this headstone with just two dates: the date the person was born and the date of his or her death. There was nothing more.

It may be that all other details had been lost, or that the person concerned wanted to be buried anonymously – in which case why have a headstone at all? But it stands there as a solemn warning that there may be no more to our existence than the time we are born and the time we die. It was Job, the Old Testament character who suffered greatly, who summed up mere existence like this:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

What improves the situation immensely is that whilst the Bible tells us repeatedly that we are ALL going to die, and that death without intervention is the very end of our existence, it contains an offer from Almighty God which enables us to escape the long term consequences of death by being given the gift of immortality.

But there is nothing automatic about it and that gift will only be given when the Lord Jesus returns from heaven to establish God’s Kingdom on earth. God alone has inherent immortality ( 1 Timothy 6:16), but He can make others immortal, if He so chooses. In that way Jesus was raised from the dead – for he died being mortal – and was gifted with immortality by God.  As we read in these passages:

“Him (Jesus), being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it” (Acts 2:23–24);

“I am he (Jesus speaking) who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Revelation 1:18).

Jesus is a trailblazer. He was the first to rise from the dead to be given eternal life, but he is to be the first of many, by the grace of God. Here is the scriptural assurance of what is to happen when the time is right:

"But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at his coming" (1 Corinthians 15:20–23).

So if we want more than this current short mortal life, we need to turn to God to learn how we can have a wonderful IMMORTAL LIFE.

Learn here about God’s Promise of Eternal Life