Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Chances are you’ve heard this prayer before. It’s the prayer of a child who has been taught from an early age that there is such a thing as a soul, that there is such a thing as death, and that there is such a thing as life after death.
You can be certain that unless Christ comes first, you and I will both die. Not to think about the afterlife is to miss the inevitable, and we don’t want to do that.
As we grow older and get so encumbered in the realities of time, it is so easy to forget that simple prayer … and even easier to lose our sense of eternity.
When we were born into this world, we were born to die. not one of us is exempt from the grave, the box, and the field. Unless Jesus Christ returns first, we are all going to die.
As a society, we try so hard to avoid the subject of death. We try to camouflage it by using fancy words like “passed on” or “family plot,” but the reality is that you and I are marching toward a destiny at the local cemetery.
So what does death really mean? The Bible’s definition of death is not the same as the human definition. In the Bible, death means separation, not cessation. Nowhere does the Bible say that those who die just don’t exist anymore. In the Bible, the word death means “to separate.”
When you and I use the word death, we are talking about what James 2:26 calls the separation of our immaterial part from the material part (“The body without the spirit is dead.”) A separation occurs. Why?
Think back to the Creation account in Genesis. God made Adam from the dust of the ground, and Adam was lifeless … until God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). God gave Adam a soul.
You are not who you are because of your body. You are who you are because of your soul. Your body is simply the material container for the immaterial part of who you are.
Every human being receives a soul at the point of conception. The soul is an immaterial part of us that is eternal in the sense that it will never cease to exist. When a person dies, the reason why it’s not all over is that only the body dies; the soul doesn’t die. Our souls are made to last forever. Therefore, our souls cannot die. Take comfort in knowing that physical death is merely a doorway to the furtherance of life. And if you have trusted Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, that continuation of life includes living forever in His presence.