The Way of Eternal Life for Mortal Men

Man is born but he cannot escape death. A man is born and dies, another is born and then dies… How many people have been given birth and have died up until now? Though it is said that man is the lord of all creation, he is merely a slave to death. Why has the lord of all creation become a slave to death?

Whether a man lives for ten years or a hundred years, he is destined to die. Huma life is utterly meaningless. This world is merely a short journey; no one lives forever. Every human being is a slave to Satan; he is held in slavery by his fear of death until it comes upon him. Nobody can escape death. How miserable the human life is!

The writer of Psalms described the vanity of life as follows: Ps. 90:9-10 “All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. The length of our days is seventy years – or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.”

Although the length of our days may be seventy or eighty years, it is like a dream overnight and like the grass which sprouts in the morning. Therefore, we can conclude that life is but an empty dream. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass.” (Isaiah 40:6-7)

Then, why were we born into this troublesome and vain world? Who made this world which is vain and empty? The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned–” (Romans 5:12).

If we consider the above words, it is avery serious matter that several tens of billions of people must die because of one man, Adam. Why did God allow Adam and Eve to commit sin? To this question, some give an answer as follows: “God could have kept Adam and Eve from sinning, but if He had done that, they could not have had absolute freedom. So God gave them the freedom of choice, and they chose to sin.” Do you think their answer is correct? If it were correct, how would they answer the next question? As it is written: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death…” (Rev. 21:4)

Here, why does God not give absolute freedom of choice, but get rid of death? If we are given absolute freedom in heaven, shouldn’t there also be the freedom to choose death or eternal life? How would they answer this question?

When we study these matters carefully, we come to know that eternal life was not guarenteed to Adam and Eve. God only said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:27-28). Eternal life was allowed under a certain condition. As it is written, “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).

The condition was this: “If you eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will die; and if you don’t eat of it, you will live.” However, to those who are redeemed by Jesus, eternal life is guaranteed. As it is written, “He will wip every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

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