When we hear statements like “God needed another angel”, or “It was God’s will or plan”, or simply “God took him or her to be with Him”, we think people probably mean well, and are attempting to give comfort when a loved one departs this life. What images do such statement conjure up? How accurate are they?
Could it be that such phrases put the blame God for any death, natural or accidental? So, let's look at these statements, If God needed more angels, He could make more like He did the first time. He has no need to turn us into angels. Not to mention, there is no biblical precedence for it. And as we will see, it is NOT God's perfect will or plan for us to die.
And one more thing… God only took a few people from this world. God took Enoch (Genesis 5:24), Moses (Jude 1:9), Elijah (2 Kings 2:11), and those who rose after Christ's resurrection (Matthew 27:52-53). And if anyone questions Moses being taken to Heaven, read Matthew 17:1-3. He appears with Elijah. Can you think of why God would have brought him back for this meeting only? Feel free to start a discussion about it below! Everyone else is currently sleeping in the grave (Job 7:21, Job 14:21, John 11:11-13, 1 Thessalonians 5:10), awaiting one of two resurrections. There's the first resurrection to life, and the last or second resurrection to eternal death.
So, why does death exist anyway? Would it surprise you to know that death was not in God's plan for man? Death was meant for the Devil and the fallen angels! And that death will be by fire (Matthew 25:41).
For the wages of sin is death;… Romans 6:23
…that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; Hebrews 2:14
How does Satan have the power of death? Through sin!
…for the devil sinneth from the beginning… 1 John 3:8
You see, Satan doesn't kill directly. He can cause us to kill one another or ourselves through lies, temptation, or coercion. Yet the death he's primarily responsible for is eternal death. This means eternal separation from God (non-existence). This was Satan's deception and the truth he hid from Eve when he told her they would not surely die!
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: Genesis 3:4
But where do we come in? Well, Adam also sinned when he disobeyed God by eating of the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:11). Because of this, he was blocked from the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:24) so he could not live forever in his now sinful condition. So Adam eventually died. And through Adam, sin is passed on to everyone.
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners,… Romans 5:19
And this death is not just physical death, but eternal death.
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12
So you see, While Satan initiated death through sin, death came on us through Adam. Because God loves us, He provided a way for us to regain access to eternal life. While we cannot escape physical death because of sin, we can escape eternal death through Christ!
…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
The loss of a loved one is never easy. There are feelings, and emotions, too many to mention. The thought of missing them is tough to bear. Through acceptance of Christ's work of redemption, even if we die, we can meet again and together, live eternally through Him!