Life, Death and the Hope of Salvation
Life, Death and the Hope of Salvation

Life, Death and the Hope of Salvation

 Life, Death, and the Hope of Salvation


In the day that God made the earth and the heavens, the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:4-7) And from the flesh of Adam, God formed a woman (Genesis 2:21-23), which the man named Eve because she was the mother of all living. (Genesis 3:20) Although Adam lived in paradise in close fellowship with God, the first man transgressed with his wife into sin for which God warned, “you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) So the woman and the man condemned themselves to death, according to the curse which God spoke to Adam, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19) So the Lord God sent the man and his wife out from paradise and prohibited mortals from partaking of the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)

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Sin therefore came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men. (Romans 5:12) According to God’s righteous law, the soul who sins shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4) Having been alienated from God through sin, mankind is already condemned. (John 3:18) And by works no man is justified in the sight of God. (Romans 3:20) Humanity has already been charged that all are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:9-12) Lacking the repentance that leads to life, man is dead in trespasses and sin, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 2:2) The children of man have fallen away, they have all become corrupt as Jesus said, “no one is good except God alone.” (Luke 18:19) So death has reigned from Adam, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam. (Romans 5:14)

Of first importance is that Jesus has died for our sins, he was buried, and he was raised on the third day. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) Our hope and faith in the Gospel rests on the promise that we shall likewise attain the resurrection from the dead at the end of the age. (John 11:24) Although the first man Adam became a living being, the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45) Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:49) At the last trumpet the dead will be raised imperishable and be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52) For the perishable body must put on the imperishable, and the mortal body must put on immortality so that it comes to pass, as it is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:54) We believe that Jesus died and rose again – likewise God will bring with Christ those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:14) For the Lord himself will return and descend from heaven with a cry of command and the dead in Christ will rise. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

Despite death’s curse through one man’s trespass, the gift of righteousness following many trespasses now reigns in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:15) Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. (Romans 5:18) As by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19) For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:21) As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish. (John 3:16) Thanks be to God in showing his love for us that, while we were under the law of sin and death, Christ died for the ungodly to justify us by his blood in saving us from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:8-9)

The place of the dead is known as Sheol in Hebrew and Hades in Greek. (1 Samuel 2:6) There the wicked are punished and the righteous are comforted until the day of judgement. (Luke 16:22-23) The deepest abyss of Hades, Tartarus, was considered the place of fallen angels (demons), where they are being kept until the day of judgement. (2 Peter 2:4)

Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age when the wicked will be destroyed. (Matthew 13:40) Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Luke 3:9) If anyone does not abide in Christ, he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. (John 15:6) Those who once bore fruit in Christ, and then have fallen away, if they bear thorns and thistles, they are worthless and near to being cursed, and their end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:8) When the Son of Man returns, the King will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41)

The ultimate place of destruction of the wicked is referred to as Gehenna, a term which Jesus used when he said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna). (Matthew 10:28) Gehenna, translated “Valley of Hinnom” is known to be a cursed place, and in the Hebrew Bible is where some of the kings of Judah sacrificed their children by fire. (2 Chronicles 28:3) Gehenna continued to be a place of burning sewage, burning flesh, and garbage where maggots and worms crawled through the waste and the smoke smelled strong and was sickening. (Isaiah 30:33) The depiction of Gehenna is hell; the place of perpetual destruction where the fires never cease from burning and the worms never stop crawling. (Mark 9:47-48) When the wicked are destroyed in the lake of fire – this is the second death – then death and the place of the dead (hades) will also be thrown into the lake of fire and abolished. (Revelation 20:13-15)

Jesus made it clear that we should fear hell (Gehenna) more than death – and we should fear the one that has authority to cast into hell more than those who are able to kill the body. (Luke 12:4-5) It is better to lose one of the members of our body that make us sin than our whole body be thrown into hell. (Matthew 5:30) It is better to enter life crippled or lose a hand than to be cast into hell. (Mark 9:43) It is better to enter life lame than with two feet be thrown into hell. (Mark 9:45) It is better to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes be thrown into hell. (Mark 9:47)

When Jesus was put to death, God raised him from the dead and his soul was not abandoned to Hades. (Acts 2:31) He has been exalted at the right hand of God as leader and savior. (Acts 2:33) He died and now is alive forever more and now has the keys to Death and Hades. (Revelation 1:18) And the gates of Hades shall not prevail against his Church. (Matthew 16:18) For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. (John 5:21) For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgement to the Son. (John 5:22) Whoever hears his words and believes does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24) The hour is coming, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. (John 5:25) For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so he has granted the son also give life to whom he will. (John 5:21) God has given Jesus authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to whom he will. (John 17:2) And he has given him all authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. (John 5:27)

The hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear the voice of the Son of Man and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. (John 5:28-29) There will be a first resurrection of the righteous and a second resurrection of judgement. (Revelation 20:4-6) On the day of judgement, the dead great and small will stand before the throne and records will be opened including the book of life. (Revelation 20:12) Death and Hades will give up the dead and they will be judged, each of the dead, according to what they had done. (Revelation 20:13) Whoever’s name is not found written in the book of life will be thrown into the lake of fire which is the second death. (Revelation 20:15) Death and Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur – this is where the devil will reside. (Revelation 20:14) Blessed are the holy ones who will share in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power; they will be priests of God and of Christ and they will reign with him. (Revelation 20:6) But as for the timid – and faithless – and murders – and sexually immoral – and those practicing witchcraft – and the worshipers of false gods – and all the deceitful; their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

Sin is death, but now grace reigns through righteousness leading to eternal life (Romans 5:21). The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life. (Romans 6:23) This is the will of the Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and Christ will raise him up. (John 6:40) Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John 3:36) The Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. (Galatians 3:22) To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. (Romans 2:7-8)

According to the promise of our God, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:13) Those worthy to attain to the coming age and to attain to the resurrection from the dead cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. (Luke 20:35-36) For all who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God and have received the spirit of adoption as sons. (Romans 8:14-15) We are sealed with the Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it. (Ephesians 1:13-14) Creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God (Romans 8:19) so as to be set free from our bondage to decay (Romans 8:21). The children of God groan inwardly eagerly waiting for adoption as sons – the hope of the resurrection. (Romans 8:23)