Do I Have to grow old?

To make me look younger I can buy numerous anti-ageing products – face creams, hair dyes and toning creams – to name but a few.

If I want a really youthful look, and am prepared to pay, I can have a ‘chin tuck’, a ‘nose job’ or even improve my failing eyesight with laser treatment. But all this doesn’t stop me growing older. So, I ask, why do we all have to grow old?

No Escape

George WashintonOld age happens to us until finally we die. No one escapes death, not one; you never meet somebody who fought against Napoleon, or heard a speech by George Washington do you?

That’s because everybody dies - but do I have to physically grow old? Can’t I get to 21 and stay like that until I fade away at 75, 85 or whatever? Why does my body have to degenerate?

Well, one thing that ageing makes us do – if we stop to think about it – is to face up to the issue of death. If you always looked 21 you might be tempted to think you were going to live on for ever. But every wrinkle and every grey hair is God’s wake-up call to us. It reminds us that we won’t last forever in our present state.

What God Intended

Death is not the end; it can be just the beginning. When God created the earth and placed man on it, he didn’t design it so that we would die after a mere 70 or so years in which we could enjoy his wonderful creation. No. Death came into the world as a punishment, not as the gateway to heaven, as some people wrongly think. God said to Adam:

“Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:17-19).

Death was a punishment for disobedience and death is there defined as a return to dust. That’s what happens when we die – we cease to exist – unless we do something about it.

“Man who is in honour, yet does not understand, is like the beasts that perish” (Psalm 49:20);

“Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish” (Psalm 146:3,4);

“They are dead, they will not live; they are deceased, they will not rise. Therefore you have punished and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish” (Isaiah 26:14)

Live Forever?

It doesn’t have to be like that, if you don’t want it to be. When God made the earth,

he made it as a place in which people would live forever. That’s probably why we all instinctively don’t want to die or even grow old – because we know deep inside that there is something better with God. And there is!

It was an Old Testament prophet who explained:

“I have made the earth, and created man on it. It was I - My hands that stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded … Israel shall be saved by the LORD with an everlasting salvation; you shall not be ashamed or disgraced forever and ever. For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the LORD, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:12,17-18).

If this idea is new to you, ask what Jesus meant when he said:

“Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).

Or why did King David promise, in the same terms, that:

“Yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look diligently for his place, but it shall be no more. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalm 37:10-11; see also verses 22 and 29).

For Ever and Ever?

aging

So how do we get to live forever? It’s easy when you know how:

  1. Find out what God’s purpose was in sending Jesus to the earth, and what he really taught;

When you’re convinced about that:

  1. Change your way of life by taking God into account and doing what He requires; that way you get to:
  2. Learn to live with a real and lasting hope.


“Follow Me”

It’s that simple. Once you resolve to follow the Lord Jesus, the perspective you once had on your existence will be hugely changed. You’ll find you have a new purpose in life and the world’s trivialities fade in their importance to you. Getting older will not matter anything like the same. You may even get accustomed to the idea of getting older gracefully, because getting older isn’t so much a sign of the end of existence. It’s a pointer to the fact that another and better life is to start after you are raised from the dead at the Coming to earth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

All the creams science can produce won’t save us from death. All they can do is help to make us look younger than we really are. But Jesus wants to give us life forever, and that is a promise that he most certainly can and will deliver.


 

A version of this article was published in Glad Tidings magazine. You can subscribe to receive a free copy of the Glad Tidings magazine each month by clicking on the logo below.

gtmast 

Acknowledgements: en.wikipedia.org, http://www.slrlounge.com