Man wants to live forever. While he lives longer today than in the 1800s, typically people only live into their 70s or 80s. This was prophesied in Psa. 90:10 (BBE): “The measure of our life is seventy years; and if through strength, it may be eighty years, its pride is only trouble and sorrow, for it comes to an end and we are quickly gone.”
While doctors have been studying why people become ill and die from a medical perspective, the Bible is quite clear on the reason for sickness and death. It was the penalty God levied on Adam, Eve and their descendants because of their disobedience in the garden of Eden. “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. … By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:17,19 NASB).
After Adam sinned, men lived a long time before they died but they still died within the 1,000 year “day” that God decreed. The longest recorded life was that of Methuselah, 969 years (Gen. 5:27). Since the flood, man’s life-span was drastically shortened only to rebound a little in our day. However, the Bible is clear that today’s advances are limited and only God can lift the curse “you will surely die” from off mankind’s back (Gen. 2:17 NASB).
Will God lift that curse? That is the promise of the Scriptures. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death … that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9). Jesus was “made flesh” and by his obedience to the Law, proved his perfection (John 1:14; Heb. 5:9). As a result, the man Christ Jesus became a ransom for Father Adam (1 Tim. 2:5,6). When Jesus laid down that human life in death, he provided the redemption price needed to release Adam and his descendants from the penalty of death.
Raising the human family from death is exactly what our risen Lord plans to do. Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment” (John 5:28,29 NASB).
Those who have done good deeds, the followers of Jesus, are promised a spiritual life in heaven. The rest of mankind will be brought to life in Christ’ s earthly kingdom to learn righteousness and by their obedience gain everlasting life. In that kingdom, “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Rev. 22:17 NASB).