May 26

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Of course, this is no one’s favorite subject, but no one gets out of this world, of this life, without death! The basic meaning of the word “death” is separation. However, Merriam-Webster gives the following as the meaning of the word death: “a permanent cessation of all vital functions: the end of life.” Another definition is: “the act of dying; the end of life; the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism.” Still another gave: “the event of dying or departure from life.” From a purely medical standpoint this may work, but it does not really help us much. It will be noted that the word “separation” does not appear in any these sources. Therefore, let us look at the Greek word, which is “tanatos” and means: “separation from the life” (Strong 2288). Thayer says: “that separation (whether natural or violent) of the soul and the body by which the life on earth is ended.”
Having now before us the correct and understandable meaning of the word “death,” let us look at an inspired use of the word: “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also (James 2:24). It is the word “without” that helps us here, it is the Greek “kho-rece’” and means: “at a space, that is, separately or apart from.” Now, we do not have the word “death” in this verse, but we have the word “dead;” which is the Greek “nek-ros’” and refers to “a corpse,” dead” (Strong)! Now, Thayer says: “1) one that has breathed his last, lifeless,” then, “destitute of life, without life, inanimate.” Therefore, “the body without (separately or apart from) the spirit is dead (lifeless, destitute of life, without life, inanimate)! If a body is “without” the spirit it is dead; then, the spirit has been separated from the body. Thus, death occurs when the “spirit” has separated from the “body.” This separation is unseeable!
So, you are asking what is this all about? First, death is a most sobering subject and one we do not like to think about, let alone talk about! Second, it is the end of opportunity, as in whatever we are going to do, it must be done before death! Third, at death one’s eternal destiny is sealed and unchangeable! These words appear in Hebrews: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Of course, to a good student of the Bible, it is understood, implied, necessary, that there is a resurrection between death and the judgment. Otherwise, what is judgement? Therefore, when addressing the subject of death; we have entered two areas we like to avoid: 1) death and 2) the judgment! For just assuredly, as there is death, there is the judgment! Paul wrote: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (1 Cor. 5:10).
So, you are still asking, what is this all about? It is about the fact; there are approximately 6,744 deaths in the U.S. per day. On Sunday, there are 6,744 people who will not see Monday! This means that all opportunity to do any act has ended! Here we might correctly use the words: “Whatever will be, will be!” Meaning that for 6,744 people all opportunity has ended, never to be changed! This is the sobering reality for 6,744 souls/ spirits!
There is the meaning of death for the living! The death of others gives the living, you and me, opportunity to take the time God has given us to follow Paul’s words: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Cor. 13:5). Just how careful should we be in this effort? The word the Holy Spirit had Paul use, which is our word, “examine,” is the Greek “peirazō” and it means: “test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quantity of.” Adam Clarke wrote of the word: “Try yourselves; pierce your hearts; bore yourselves throughout!”
What was Paul points? He answers: “how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” The word “reprobates” is the Greek “adokimos” and expresses the idea of “not standing the test, not approved.” Can you hear Jesus say: “depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:23)? One last thought, we have no idea who will be among the 6,744, who will never see Monday!

– Frank R. Williams

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