Is Man Immortal?
Part One - Is Man Immortal
I read with much interest a letter written to a local paper entitled "Let us end obsession with prolonging life" by Joyce McClure Williams. In her letter she ponders the question of why there is so much opposition to mercy killing or euthanasia. After all, death is a natural out come for all living creatures and why should we seek to put it as long as possible.
As I sat there reading this I could see that her difficulty in understanding this matter lies in the fact that she is approaching this matter from a non Christian point of view. If we leave the teaching of the Scriptures out of this debate we will end in the same fatalistic conclusions that this poor ended with. As Paul wrote in 1 Thes. 4:13, without Christ and His resurrection there is no hope for anyone. In the following paragraphs let me answer the question of why man is so concerned with prolonging life.
First of all, the reason mankind is obsessed with prolonging life even when it is often meaningless is due to the fact that death is not a natural state for man. Genesis 1-3 makes it clear that God created man to live for ever in a quality of life far superior than we have ever known. Death only entered man's existence when he choose to break the law of God (Gen. 2-26-27) and thus death became the curse and penalty for his crime. For this reason Christ came to die and raise from the dead, that He might reverse the process of death and restore immortality to all men (John 5:25-29; 1 Cor. 15:20). Therefore since the instinct to preserve life forever is apart of the blueprint of man, man seeks to preserve it even when it appears totally meaningless existence.
Secondly, in the killings of Dr. Kevorkian and the now legalized practice of euthanasia in the states of Washington and Oregon, everyone focuses on the argument, that it is not right that the terminally ill go on suffering. Let them die and be freed from their pain. Now this argument is based on an unprovable premise, that there is either no existence after life or the existence after life is without judgment or punishment for sin. Had Dr. Kevorkian been there and back and to be able to speak from personal experience when he says his victims are better off dead? The Bible indicates that their is existence after death (Lk. 16), and for those who are not trusting in Christ for salvation, that existence is a place of judgment of sin through torture far greater than anyone has know in this life (Mk. 9:47, 48; Matt. 25:30, 41, 46). Therefore mercy killing is not only unmerciful, but it robs the individual of any last chance of obtaining salvation through Christ and eternal life.
Thirdly, many find it hard to end the life of a human being because it bears a sacredness, unknown in the animal kingdom. Human life is above animal and plant life because man was created bearing the image of God. God said His image makes human life sacred and thus to take another's life by murder (Ex. 20:13) is to earn the death penalty (Gen. 9:6). Because of this sacredness of life, most of mankind feels the need to preserve human life at all costs.
It is has been my experience that most of the discussion on this issue is done either from the New Age view or atheistic point of view. Why the Scriptures are left out on this important matter is a mystery to me. It is definitely not because the alternative views rest on anymore concrete evidence. May be it is because men and women today do not like to face the facts that there is a Creator to Whom they are morally answerable both now and in the eternity to come. Before we send to many more people on to "eternal bliss," it might be best to now for sure what "eternal bliss" awaits them. Maybe an early ticket out of life is a one way ticket to an eternal hell.