Q. I’m in an ongoing debate with a friend of mine (who is a preacher) about healing. According to him, we never need to die, as we merely need to come to the realization of who we are in Christ. Once we have done that, we would be able to heal ourselves (and probably everybody around us), and would not have to die.
My question is: what do I say to him? He is very much trying to “convert” me to his beliefs. (Not that it will affect either of our eternal lives, as we’re both born again, Spirit-filled Christians.) I guess I’m just tired of the debate.
A. The Bible says it was never intended that man should live forever in his fallen state. Adam and Eve had to be evicted from the Garden after they sinned so as not to partake of the Tree of Life until the sin problem could be solved. Psalm 90:10 says that an average man’s life span will be 70-80 years. Hebrews 9:27 says that man is appointed to die once and then face judgment. 1 Cor. 15:53 says that the mortal has to be made immortal to enter Heaven. That means His corrupt earthly body has to be discarded and replaced by an incorruptible heavenly one.
Throughout the Church Age all believers of previous generations have died even though Jesus had paid the penalty for all their sins. Is it possible that none of them knew who they were in Christ?
The best evidence is John, the apostle Jesus loved and the only one to die of natural causes. According to tradition both the Jews and the Romans tried to kill him but were unable to do so until the Lord was finished with him. When his work was completed, he died peacefully.
This world is transient, it’s the next one that’s permanent (2 Cor. 4:18). To be confined to this world would mean forfeiture of all the incredible blessings of the next one. This is why Paul said that to die is to gain (Phil 1:21).
There is only one generation that has been spared the dying process and that’s the one that will experience the rapture. And even then, we’ll have to be changed before we can enter Heaven (1 Cor. 15:51).