Here are some of the Bible passages that present the ideas found in the series, A Reflection on Our Fear of Death.
Why Do We Suffer and Die?
God gave the first humans a choice: obey his will or rebel against it. Under the influence of God’s enemy, Satan, they chose to do the one thing God asked them not to do. At that moment, they transferred their allegiance from God’s Kingdom to his enemy’s domain — an enemy bent on destroying us and keeping us separated from our Creator.
Genesis 2:16-17: And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Ephesians 2.1-3: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
1 Peter 5:8: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Our ancestors did not realize it at the time, but listening to that enemy instead of God opened the door to the evil, suffering, and death that is now part of our reality. This first bad decision (called the Fall) also banished them from Paradise, because only those who are unblemished can live in the presence of a perfectly holy and just God.
Romans 1:28-32: Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
Genesis 3:23-24: So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
Next: What Do We Learn about Evil in This World?
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