Live a long life!
Did you know that God desires to see us live a long good life? Many today believe that when a person dies, it was God's timing for them to die and that the fullness of their days have been lived out according to God's will. However, according to the Bible, God's will isn't always manifested here on earth as God desires it, and there is no guarantee that we will live out the fullness of our days.
Yes, I believe that God has appointed our days, and has a plan for our lives, but my question is, are we fulfilling those years? Are we living to our full potential? Consider these passages that we are given in God's Word, which speak of extending our lifespan:
The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Yes, we can die before our time!
Let me ask you this, when a person has an abortion, is that God's appointed time for that baby to die? When somebody commits suicide, is that God's appointed time for them to die? When somebody gets drunk, and kills an entire family, was that God's appointed time for them to die? Is it Biblical to "die before your time"? YES!
Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?
But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.
To say that we cannot die before our time, would justify murder and abortion. Somebody who has committed murder would not be guilty of sin, because they were merely cooperating with God's plan to take the person home. But murder is a serious sin, because it takes a person's life before it is their time to die.
Just as it is never God's will for a woman to be raped, or a child to be molested, it is also not necessarily God's will for a person to die before their time. Not everything that happens here on earth is the will of God. If everything that happened here on earth was God's will, then that would make God out to be a terrible father... desiring to see His children raped, murdered, molested, and tortured. Such things are in complete opposition to the nature of our loving Father.
For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
Is it Biblical to "fullfill their days"? Yes!
There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
Then in various areas of scripture, we learn of God giving people over to the sword because they failed to turn from their wickedness:
All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.
In the NT, we learn that there are many people who get sick and die before their time, because of unworthily partaking in communion:
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep [or have died].
I wonder how many people blame a person's sickness or death on this above passage? Yet God's Word tells us that MANY have fallen into this trap. If many back then fell into it, what percentage of today's sicknesses and deaths also fall into this category?
Can a person's sin and disobedience to God shorten their life? Yes! Untimely death is listed under the curses that we find in Deuteronomy 28:
The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.... Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed. And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.
I have never seen God's Word speak of Him using sickness or disease to call a righteous person home, but we do see just the opposite unfold in the above scripture, where sickness unto death is a curse. What is God's desire for those who fear Him and walk in His ways? A long and good life!
Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
I also believe that eating habits and exercise will also affect our body's ability to live a long and healthy life. The verse above speaks of wisdom lengthening our days, and I believe one area of our lives that we are supposed to exercise wisdom is in taking proper care of our bodies. If this were not true, then we could eat cream puffs and ice cream every day of our lives, and never exercise, and still live to a ripe old age. Or, we could take this to another extreme, and have the person not eat at all. Will they live a long good life if they fail to eat? Will they live out the fullness of their God-given days if they fail to feed their body with proper nutrition. I doubt it, don't you? If our bodies cannot live without food, then I believe we can also cut our lifespan short by not taking care of our bodies with proper care and nourishment. Furthermore, what about those in other countries that rarely live beyond 30 years old? Does God somehow appoint their days much shorter than ours here in the USA, where we are able to take care of our bodies physically by eating nutritious food and drinking clean sanitary water? Or are God's plans for them are severely limited compared to ours?
In Jeremiah, we find a passage which tells us that God has good plans for us, and wants to give us an expected end. An expected end is nothing less than a long good life. Dying of cancer, or in a car accident, is not an expected end, it is rather an unexpected end. This is not God's will for us, according to this passage in Jeremiah:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
The above passage asks, "Who wants to live a long good life?" Then it goes on to tell us to keep our tongues from speaking evil, and to depart from evil. Lot's wife is a good example of somebody in the Bible who who died due to disobedience; she never lived out the fullness of her days. It was not God's will for her to die at that time, but her death was the result of her disobedience towards God.
Another source of pre-mature death is a result of Satan's work of killing, stealing, and destroying that Jesus spoke of in John 10:10, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy..." When somebody is killed, it refers to the taking of a life prematurely (otherwise, murder would be justified in God's eyes, would it not?). God does not use Satan to kill His children, as a means to keep them from living beyond their appointed time. Jesus made it very clear who was behind the killing, and who had came to give life. By stating that every murder came at God's appointed time for that person to die, is to equate Jesus with the killing side of the equation of John 10:10. It is saying that God uses Satan's work in our lives to bring about His will, timing, and plans for us. If this were true of murder, then the same could be said of rape, stealing, etc. Suddenly, we find ourselves in a mindset that everything which happens here on earth is the will of God, which couldn't be further from the truth.
Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.
There is one passage in scripture (see Job 7:1, 14:5, 14) that is used to support the concept that the days of our lives are appointed in such a way that we are not capable of dying before the fullness of our days have been lived out. However, when Job said that the days of our life are appointed, he also said other things during his foolish rant with God that I believe were merely Job's human understanding, and not divine revelation from the Holy Spirit. For example, in Job 6:4, he was basically saying that God's poisonous arrows and the terrors of the Almighty was upon him, when that was simply not the case at all. There were things Job said which were mere human wisdom being spoke of in a time of desperation and lack of understanding.
To say that we cannot die before our appointed time, is saying that God uses murder, abortion, suicide, sicknesses resulting in death, demonic killings, unhealthy care of our bodies, drunkeness (resulting in deadly car accidents), and so forth, to fulfill His purposes in a person's life. It is saying, for example, that God appointed Billy to die on the day that he committed suicide or got drunk and drove into a phone pole. It is claiming that God appointed Billy to die at that time and that God's "good plans and expected end" for Billy was for him to commit suicide.
Finally, just because God wills something, does not mean it always happens. He desires all to be saved, and that none shall perish, and Jesus made all the provisions for all to be saved, but are all saved? No, not at all. God also wills that we live long good lives, but just because that is His desire, does not mean that it will always come to past.
"But God used Lazarus' sickness unto death for God's glory!"
True, but what was the end of the story? God took no glory in Lazarus' death, but rather in seeing a dead body raised to life before their very eyes! Therefore, when Aunt so-and-so dies of cancer, I need to see that body raised from the dead before the story of Lazarus can be used to justify her sickness unto death. Did Aunt so-and-so get raised from the dead? Or did her body go to rot in the grave? Then don't use Lazarus' story to justify God using cancer to take the lives of His people. I see this sort of nonsense all the time in today's church, and it is completely mocking God's Word and the nature of our loving heavenly Father. Cancer is almost always the result of a spiritual bondage, and demonic activity in a person's life.
Cancer is one of the devil's ways of killing, stealing, and destroying (see John 10:10). I have heard of X-rays of cancer showing up as strange demonic faces, and one doctor said that it was completely normal (as in, he sees it all the time). I talked with one Christian doctor, and he said that I had a good point about cancer being demonically rooted, because the medical community is clueless as to what the root cause really is. Let me ask you this: if Jesus told us that Satan came to kill, how does Satan go about doing that? Think about this, we don't see demons with clubs beating people to death, but we do see people dying like flies from cancer. Does God use Satan to kill people as His way of "calling them home"? I believe that Jesus was telling us in John 10:10 that Satan's intent to kill refers to taking a life pre-maturely. Abortion is another one of Satan's ways of pre-maturely taking a person's life. Would we dare say that God was using that to call His children home? We wouldn't think of it! God's Word tells us that He has plans for us, plans to give us a hope and a future, and an expected end (see Jeremiah 29:11). Cancer is not an expected end. Abortion is not an expected end. An expected end is when a person has lived out the fullness of their days that God has given them to live.
Are the good plans spoken of in Jeremiah 29:11 coming to past in everybody's life? Then what makes us think that the expected end part of that passage naturally comes true in everybody's life? It doesn't! Those are PLANS that God has for us, but just like the plan of salvation, we must play a vital part in seeing those plans fulfilled in our lives. Satan, of course, has plans to end our lives prematurely. Jesus told us in John 10:10 that the thief came to kill, steal, and destroy.
What about persecution?
Jesus did tell us that if we follow Him, we're going to be hated, persecuted, and even killed for His name sake. The world hated Him, and they will hate us too. Yes, some of us will be hated to the point of being killed for the sake of the gospel.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
None the less, it is never God's will or desire to see His children persecuted or killed for His sake. That would be like a father telling his children to go get beat up to prove their love for him, and then enjoying seeing them be beaten and killed. That is just not the nature of our heavenly Father!
Why does God allow us to be persecuted and even killed for His sake? Because He wants to reach the lost, and in order to do that, we're going to be persecuted. He already has our souls, so the moment we die, we are with him anyways. He wants to reach out in love to those who don't have Him as their Lord. He loves them dearly, and is willing to sacrifice the lives of some of His precious children in order to reach a lost and hurting world. He loved us that much before we got saved too, and how much more does He love us now that we've been adopted as His children into the kingdom!