Escape Death Only To Die Anyway
You have probably heard many stories about near death experiences, or people who almost died in some freak accident, but lived to tell about it. Stories like these: a cancer patient is told they will die in 6 months, but somehow they live because the cancer goes away. Or a man might have been kidnapped and about to get his head cut off by some criminal/terrorist organization, but just in the nick of time the U.S. Special Forces snipe the bad guys and the prisoner is freed. Or maybe a man was given a death sentence in a foriegn country, but was freed for some political reason right before he was to be executed. A couple might have lived through an airplane crash and were the only survivors, or possibly a person had a near death experience where their heart stopped beating for 5 minutes, and the doctors jump started the person’s heart and brought them back to life…Stories like this are numerous, what does this all mean?
The late 90’s Christian, doomy, hardcore punk band World Against World has a song called “The Hope of the Wicked Has Become Despair” with the lyrics,
Slaves to sin wonder why, “Are we really born but to die? Can life be the fulfillment of itself? Must the earth answer to the sky?” Life has become an order of events, month by month paying the rent and it’s all in vain because Christ is not accepted to break the mold of discontent. “There is no God” says the fool, and he drinks to forget he hates himself. The business man used to believe, but he gave it up to gain power and wealth. The college student does his best, but without the Lord there is no success and they all die just like the priest who thanked God that he was better than the rest.
Everyone will die eventually no matter what. No matter how they lived their lives. You the reader, reading this right now, YOU WILL DIE! Yes, the words of Sho Khan in Mortal Kombat II are correct: “YOU WILL DIE MORTAL!” Ecclesiastes 9:3 says,
“[T]here is one fate for everyone. In addition, the hearts of people are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live— after that they go to the dead.” Further in verse 5 it says, “[F]or the living will know that they will die, but the dead don’t know anything. There is no longer a reward for them because the memory of them is forgotten.”
“To escape death” are the words people use a lot. A similar phrase used is “to cheat death,” but in reality is this true? Do people really escape or cheat death? Nope. No one can actually escape death, because death will never go away; it is always behind a person waiting to snatch them out of this world. God has a time for every person and no one can escape the time God has set for that person to die. So what is the point in people coming so close to death and ending up surviving through an ordeal? They survive only to prolong their existence until death captures them eventually anyway.
The messages people proclaim after surviving through an ordeal where they almost died are usually positive messages, or a relay of their amazing story. They always talk about how they went against all odds and made it! They try to inspire people to survive. But in reality many of these people are without God. They have no true basis to understand life. Without Christ there is no meaning. God allows people to live and then allows others to die for His sovereign purposes. The only stories that matter about surviving against odds and temporarily avoiding death are when a Christian speaks about it because they have a true understanding and true worth in Christ to keep working for God’s will. God’s divine purpose for their life is to work hard and live for Him whereas the secular person lives for themselves and their own ideas without God. God tolerates them and has His reasons for their temporary survival; maybe in order to give a chance for people to acknowledge Him since He allowed them to live. Yet, when they do not acknowledge Him they are given up to divine judgment at death and hellfire for eternity. This will show God’s justice and give Him glory. So what is the point in escaping death only to end up dying later and going to hell? Think about it! Ecclesiastes 11:9 mentions that, “God will bring you to judgment.” In 12:5 in the same book it says, for man is headed to his eternal home” and verse 7 says, “the spirit returns to God who gave it.” This can be summed up by what it says in the New Testament:
“For it is appointed for man to die once, and after this, judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
Every man has an eternal soul with an eternal destiny. God will judge him and his spirit will either go on to Heaven or on to Hell.
Only the Christian (the elect) can actualy have a good purpose in surviving death because it gives us more time on earth to do God’s will. We should not rejoice in escaping death because of the fact we get to live on earth longer and enjoy its pleasures. Instead we should rejoice in the fact we survive and get to bring more glory to the kingdom of God while on earth. We have more missions to do! Even with life on earth and the many blessings it brings from God, death is the ultimate goal the Christian has in order to enter Heaven and be free in God’s presence. As Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” So we should rejoice that God finds us useful still, so that we can have a longer chance to spread the gospel message more to the lost. We will ultimately die anyway so we should live well.
My temporary escape from death
Besides getting jumped by a gang of about 15 wannabe gangsters who beat me up pretty bad in Oregon (you can read about this in my other article: “Prevelent Violence, Punk Rock Skateboarding, Gangster Attack!”), I had a near death experience when I was 16 and got hit by a car. I was skateboarding and a Dominos Pizza car hit me. Remember that 30 minutes or less, or it’s free promo? The bumper crushed into my knees, and I flew up and crashed into the windshield and bounced off the car, flew through the air, slammed onto the pavement at a fast speed, and slid across the street about 10 feet. The shoe on one of my feet flew down the block about 30 feet and my skateboard ended up in the ditch. I skidded on my flesh and shredded the side of my clothes and ended up in a puddle and laid there alive. The friend who was with me claimed he saw me crash head first into the windshield. But only my collar bone was broken and I had 2 knee surgeries to repair damages. I have the scars to prove I survived, and I am somewhat crippled in my knees to this day with re-occuring problems that let me know I survived. I now know that God found more use for me to suffer longer on earth for His soveriegn purposes. I will live for the proclamation of the gospel. If I died then who knows what would have happened, would I have gone to hell? It was during a time in life where I was going through major depression and doubts about God. At one point I even rejected God and told Him off. About 1 or 2 weeks later I was set straight by that Dominos Pizza car. I am one of the few who can truly claim that I was godsmacked. All I know is God saved me, not only my physical life, but my eternal soul. What did I do to deserve a second chance? Nothing. God in His sovereign will protected me and kept me alive. So, I will live for Christ and when I die I will gain Him…I thank God often for His will in choosing me for salvation and protecting me from death temporarily; so that I could learn more about Him and be used more to proclaim His eternal kingdom while here on earth. I live to die a Christian death…