How Not to Die


My daughter download a game on her phone and my phone too. I am not sure why she did that, but I digress. The game is called Dumb Ways to Die. It sprang from the Dumb Ways to Die public service announcement campaign by Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia. The psa was designed to promote rail safety. There is a pledge that gets people to agree to say “I solemnly swear to not do dumb stuff around trains”.

From the beginning of time, God shared a pledge with man as a means to promote his safety and to keep him from dying. God told man the dumb ways to die – disobey me i.e. sin. Genesis 2:16-17 says, “16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”” In being hit by a train, we know death to mean the end of life; the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism. For God and in a spiritual sense, death takes on an additional meaning. The Bible has two definitions for death: 1. The absence of the consciousness from God and presence of God (spiritual death). 2. The absence of the soul or consciousness from the body (physical death). In Adam’s case, he died both ways. The spiritual death brought on the physical death. If you recall from the chapter, Adam hid from God and was made conscious that he was naked. He was not created to die physical, but because of his sin, he incurred both a spiritual and physical death.

From that time on, God has been reaching out to man to redeem him from the physical and spiritual death brought on by the first Adam. He accomplished this in the last Adam, Jesus. In John 8, we see Jesus share this truth with the Pharisees and all those looking on.

47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

48 The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”

49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”

What did Jesus mean when He said death. It was the spiritual death to which He referred. For verse 51, Ligonier Ministries writes death, as eternal separation from fellowship with God, is the judicial punishment for sin (Rom. 6:23). Since Jesus died as the substitute for His people, those who belong to Him are freed from the penalty of sin because Christ endured it for them. When Jesus says never, He is extending the promise beyond this life. Jesus lays claim to a divine prerogative. The Jews understood the statement as promising avoidance of physical death (v. 52). Earlier statements made clear what Jesus meant (5:24–29).

What was true for Adam in Genesis is true for us today. We must obey God to avoid death. Because of Adam’s sin, we are born in to spiritual death. Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Jesus was telling the Pharisees How Not to Die. Now, we that game that my daughter plays does not seem so dumb. The Dumb Way to Die is not to obey God.

Will it be said you that you did not heed the warning of dumb ways to die?

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