That's the reason we're being told it's SO IMPORTANT to get this global pandemic right! With a mortality rate some say is 2-5% of those infected, they say it is 3 or 4 times more deadly than the seasonal flu. But I can't help but wonder, where's the concern for the "virus" with a 100% mortality rate that has infected the whole human race?
Nichols and Wiseman wrote a song several years ago that country singer Tim McGraw used as the title cut for his album, "Live Like You Were Dying." A particularly insightful line says, "Well, I finally read The Good Book and took a good long hard look at what I'd do if I could do it all again..." Perhaps it would be wise to take at least a good quick look at what twenty-four passages from The Good Book say about LIFE and DEATH!
The Deadly Disease
From the first book of the Bible we read, "The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of LIFE; and man became a LIVING BEING." (Genesis 2:7 NKJV) God placed Adam and Eve in a beautiful garden to tend and enjoy, with only one restriction: "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely DIE." (Genesis 2:16,17 NKJV)
Sometime later, the one identified elsewhere in Scripture as the Deceiver and Father of Lies (Jn.8:44), at first questioned whether God actually restricted access (Gen.3:1), then flat out denied the consequences - "You will NOT surely DIE." (Genesis 3:4 NKJV), even questioning God's motives. (Gen.3:5) Adam and Eve decided to believe the deceiver instead of taking God at His Word, and the rest is history.
As a result..."Through one man sin entered the world and DEATH through sin, and thus DEATH spread to ALL." (Romans 5:12 NKJV)"The wages of sin is DEATH, but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23 ESV)
The Lord's Diagnosis
"As I LIVE, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the DEATH of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and LIVE." (Ezekiel 33:11 NKJV) "Each one is tempted.. by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth DEATH." (James 1:14,15 NKJV)
"I tell you... unless you repent, you will all likewise PERISH." - Jesus (Luke 13:3 NKJV)
"The Lord... is patient toward you, not wishing that any should PERISH, but that all should reach repentance." (II Peter 3:9 ESV)
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him, should NOT PERISH, but have EVERLASTING LIFE. ...whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already..." (John 3:16,18 ESV)
"Jesus said... 'I AM the resurrection and the LIFE; he who believes in Me, though he DIE, he shall LIVE. And he who LIVES and believes in Me, shall NEVER DIE. Do you believe this?' " (John 11:25,26 NKJV)
"The time has come... the Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the Good News." - Jesus (Mark 1:15 NIV)
Christ's Prescription & Cure
"Truly I say to you, whoever believes has ETERNAL LIFE. I AM the Bread of LIFE... if anyone eats of this bread, he will LIVE FOREVER..." - Jesus (John 6:47,48,51 ESV)
"I AM the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through Me... Because I LIVE, you will LIVE also. At that day you will know that I AM in my Father, and you in Me, and I in you." (John 14:6,19,20 NKJV ) In harmony with that, Jesus prayed for all who would ever believe in Him, "May they all be ONE, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be ONE in Us (a shared LIFE) that the world may believe that You sent Me." (John 17:21 NKJV)
"God has given us ETERNAL LIFE, and this LIFE is in His Son. He who has the Son has LIFE; he who does not have the Son of God does not have LIFE. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have ETERNAL LIFE..." (I John 5:11-13 NKJV)
The Apostle Paul wrote that those who repent and believe this Good News are buried with Jesus by "baptism into DEATH, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the DEAD by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of LIFE." (Romans 6:4 NKJV) He describes that new LIFE this way: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who LIVE, but Christ LIVES in me; and the LIFE which I now LIVE in the flesh, I LIVE by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20 NKJV)
Our Creator and Heavenly Father has provided a 100% effective cure from this death-dealing virus of sin for all who will believe and receive it, a cure with the power to extend LIFE, not for just a few more months or years, but for all ETERNITY! (Jesus) "Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having DIED to sins, might LIVE for righteousness---by whose stripes you were HEALED." (I Peter 2:24 NKJV)
Invitation to LIFE
The last book of the Bible has these words regarding the end of the age: "I am the Alpha and Omega... I will give of the fountain of the water of LIFE freely to him who thirsts... But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire... the second DEATH." (Revelation 21:6,8 NKJV)
"And I saw the DEAD, small and great, standing before God... Anyone not found written in the Book of LIFE was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:12,15 NKJV)
"Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the Tree of LIFE... the Spirit and the bride say 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts, come. And whoever desires, let him take the water of LIFE freely." (Revelation 22:14,17 NKJV)
Jesus gave these instructions to His followers: "Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to everybody. He who believes and is baptized will be saved (from DEATH into LIFE) , but he who does not believe will (continue to) be condemned." (Mark 16:15,16; cf. John 5:24 and 3:18 TM Amplified)
These timeless words of Moses to the Children of Israel at the edge of the Promised Land echo across the centuries with similar import to our generation: "I have set before you LIFE and DEATH, blessing and cursing; therefore choose LIFE, that both you and your descendants may LIVE; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your LIFE..." (Deuteronomy 30:19,20 NKJV)
The question facing us today is not unlike the question facing Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden: Will we take God at His Word, or will we give in to the same temptation to question that Word to our eternal peril?
It truly is a matter of LIFE and DEATH!
Thomas (Jn.17:21) Mackey
(An expanded study with an additional 30 life/death scriptures and comment is available w/o charge by sending an email request to: email@example.com )
I want Jesus, the Lord of LIFE, to become the Lord of my LIFE forever!
Lord Jesus, lead me to a group of believers where I can grow in the knowledge of your Word and become a faithful follower of You! May Your Kingdom come and Your will be done in me as in Heaven.