Death: Where Did it Come From?

By Phoebe Kautt 

Death. Something we hate to think about, yet something so common. You turn on the TV, and what do you see? Deaths, murders, suicides. You listen to the 10 o’clock news, and what will you most definitely hear about? So-and-so committed suicide, at such-and-such a place there was a drive by shooting. Everywhere you look the reality of death is around you: cemeteries, car accidents, funeral homes, and occurrences such as the Columbine High School shooting. Maybe we don’t like to think about it, but death happens to 10 out of 10 people. It’s a fact, 100% of all people ultimately die. All of the most famous, rich & influential people of history have all met their end: death. Caesar, Napoleon, George Washington, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler and Michael Jackson are all in the grave. Michael Jordan, Alex Rodriguez, Madonna, Bill Gates and even Billy Graham will all eventually die. 

But you might be wandering “Why are there deaths, murders, suicides and drive-by-shootings? Where and when did it all begin, and what or who caused it?”1 That’s a great question, and one that needs to be answered. It’s a question that everyone asks at least once. 

Well, to understand the origination of death we must start at the beginning. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The rest of Genesis chapter 1 gives the account of creation. As you read it you will see the phrase “and God saw that it was good” five times throughout the entirety of the chapter. Then, at the very end of the chapter, in verse 31 it says, “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (my emphasis) When God says that something is “very good,” that means that it’s very good. That means that there was no death, no suffering, no murders, when God created this universe. Evolutionists believe that death has always been, and will always be. Contrary to that belief, when God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were not standing on top of millions of years of dead things [fossils]. Would God call fossils, thorns, brain tumors and death good? To have death before the creation is essentially to make God a liar. Titus 1:2 says, “God, that cannot lie.” So, now we know that there was no death before the creation. The Garden of Eden was a perfect garden, one with no thorns or thistles. But the question still remains, “when did death come about?” and, “who or what caused it?” 

Genesis chapter 3 records the temptation and sin of Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:1-6 says, 

And he (the serpent) said unto the woman, “Yea, hath God said, ‘Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’ And the woman said unto the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ‘Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.’ And the serpent said unto the woman, “Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.” (my emphasis) 

So, you see, the serpent (Satan) tempted Eve to disobey God. The serpent told her a flat out lie: “ye shall not surely die.” That was entirely contrary to what God had told her “lest ye die.” But what did Eve do? She went ahead and listened to the Devil’s lie, took of the forbidden fruit and gave some to Adam, as well. She disobeyed God, and what was the consequence? Death. In verses 16 – 19 it says, 

Unto the woman He (God) said, “I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” And unto Adam he said, “because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, ‘thou shalt not eat of it’: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat of the herbs of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”” (my emphasis) 

Death was not the only consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. As it says in the previous verses, for Eve (and every female after her): multiplied sorrow, pain in childbearing, and the desire to rule over her husband; for Adam (and every male after him): cursed ground, thorns and thistles, sweat (!), and the guarantee that he would return to the dust from which he came (in other words, die). (Now we also know the origination of stinky sweat!) 

So the Biblical conclusion that we come to is: death has not always been here, and was not in existence before the sin of Adam and Eve. Death is the result of Adam and Eve’s rebellion and sin in the Garden of Eden. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 says, “By man came death…for as in Adam all die.” And Romans 6:23a says, “For the wages of sin is death.” Man was the cause of death, and it happened over 6,000 years ago in a place called the Garden of Eden. 

But now the question is, “Is death the end? What is after death?”2We know that all sin (Romans 3:23) and therefore all die. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” This verse tells us that death is not the end, but after death is the judgment. Matthew 25:31-46 tells us more about the judgment day. Verses 32 and 33 say: “And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.” Luke 16:19-31 is the record of the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. This passage tells us a little about what it will be like after death. Read these passages and others like it and you’ll hopefully understand it more fully. 

We’ve found out that we are all sinners, because we’re all descendants of Adam and Eve. Since we’ve all sinned, we are all doomed to death and hell. That’s all bad news, but is there any good news? Yes!  

Romans 6:23 not only says, “For the wages of sin is death;” it also says, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Yes, the wages of sin is death, that’s a fact, because of Adam and Eve’s sin; but the good news is the gift of God: eternal life!  Yes, 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, “For as in Adam all die,” but more importantly it says, “even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Because of Jesus’ death, we have life, eternal life! Death is not the end. For Christians it is the beginning of eternal life in heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! 

1 A more extensive resource about the death and suffering question is a booklet by Answers In Genesis, Why is there Death and Suffering? www.answersingenesis.org 

2 A good book about what happens after death , is One Heartbeat Awayby Mark Cahill. www.markcahill.org

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