Chinese Church Voices

Thinking About Death

Chinese Church Voices is a weekly column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.

This is a translation of a long Weibo post by a leader in a Three-Self Church college fellowship. In it he relates a conversation he had recently with a friend regarding the deaths of so many people in the Wenchuan earthquake. In this post he is trying to help the readers understand some of what the Bible has to say about death. It is a good example of how Christians in China are using social media platforms to engage in evangelism.

I am a leader of a seekers group so I am frequently asked many questions. Obviously, the question of death is an important one. After the Wenchuan earthquake, a friend asked me, Tens of thousands of people suddenly died in the earthquake, shouldnt God ?

I replied, It was a very unfortunate disaster. But according to you, if those tens of thousands of people hadnt died suddenly in the earthquake, but had died in a dispersed way some in an accident today, some by sickness tomorrow, the types of deaths we see in funeral parlors every day you think that is normal?My friend was a little touched, but continued asking, But so many children and many students died in the earthquake! I answered, It is a very unfortunate disaster. But according to you, if all of them live to be 80 or 90, and then they die, not because of sickness nor disaster, do you think that is normal? My friend replied, I think I understand now.

When sin entered the world, many things became abnormal. But now people consider them to be normal just because they are used to it being this way. All human societies have as their goal that people will die normal/natural deaths. Abnormal/unnatural deaths are to be prevented. But of course, normal death IS better than abnormal death.

What then did God do about death, the one thing that every person faces?

The Bible says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life."Gods son Jesus Christ came to the world and died on the cross for mans sin. What he experienced was an extremely humiliating abnormal death. But he rose from the dead on the third day, thereby conquering death and bringing life to mankind.

For anyone who trusts in Jesus Christ, his sins are forgiven and he has eternal life. When Jesus Christ comes again in his glory, the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and the living will be changed. This perishable body will be imperishable, and the mortal body will become immortal. Death will be completely eliminated.

Image source: Resting by the Sea, by Mike Gabelmann, via Flickr