Premature Death?

My pastor made a comment in passing today about dying prematurely. After service my mother said that she didn’t agree with it. She thinks that because God is sovereign, and life and death is in his hands, that no one dies “before their time.”

Where do you come down on the issue?

B”H

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21 thoughts on “Premature Death?

  1. I don’t think anyone dies before their time… because I don’t believe anyone has a time. They neither die prematurely in the sense there was a designated time they missed nor do they do right on time as if they had an appointment with death. They just die when they die and sometimes it’s before they got to live a full life.

  2. Btw I think I find the idea that we do have a set time to die decided by God that cannot be changed to be personally more comforting. It frees you to not worry about living and the consequences, short term and long term, of all your decisions. I do find determinism somewhat easier to live with. But I still don’t believe it.

  3. Hey,Praise the Lord,its Beau,here’s the thing, death is not premature to God because God is timeless but its premature to human life because we can choose a road that God didn’t want us to.. the bible says God wants all men to come to repentance but the truth is all men don’t, God knowing the beginning from the end doesn’t change our role in choosing the way that is broad or the one that is narrow, so in matters concerning a premature death from sin it is biblical because God wants us to be blessed and walk in his ways and have life and life more abundantly but when we disobey his Grace does have an expiration date and God says “its over!” Hebrews 12 14-16 (Esau chose to lose his blessing and couldn’t repent)so death is in his hands but what we do effects how it is released to us.. however I don’t believe that death in sickness is always premature as some may believe, I believe that a child that died of cancer wasn’t any ones lack of Faith or hidden sin why she wasn’t delivered but that God does allow bad things to happen in a fallen world to draw closer to him,so I believe that child’s death had nothing to do with faith.

  4. I think the Lord said it best, “Do not be over much wicked and do not be a fool; Why die before your time?” (Ecc 7:17) I believe that there are those that have been turned over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that their souls may saved (1 Cor 5:5): who do not answer the call of God on their lives or live in sin and unfortunately check out early. They frustrate the grace of The Almighty (Gal 2:21), thinking they have more time to eventually get it together and attempt to use the grace of God as a free pass to sin (Heb 3:8,15); all the while the Lord is tugging at their hearts and setting up roadblocks to repent but to no avail. God wants more for them than they want for themselves. Some die in their sins, others get a chance to repent (2 Tim 2:24-26).

  5. Speaking more broadly, I think everyone dies “before their time”. We were not created to die, but to live eternally in the company of our god. Death is a curse, not a natural part of life.

    I know it is common place to ‘celebrate’ at someone’s funeral who has lived life well, but even still death should always be mourned. No matter how well and long we lived, we still have stopped short of God’s original intent.

  6. Amen,but since Jesus has united us that are saved with the father it is a celebration when one goes on to glory,in philippians Paul says it is better to be out the body and present with the Lord.

  7. Some verses to think about.

    ‘See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded, and it is I who heal; And there is no one who can deliver from My hand. (Deut 32:39)

    “Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the extent of my days , Let me know how transient I am. (Ps 39:4)

    Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Thy book the days that were ordained [for me] were all written, When as yet there was not one of them. (Ps 139:16)

    “Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with Thee, and his limits Thou hast set so that he cannot pass. (Job 14:5)

    “And which of you by being anxious can add a [single] cubit to his life’s span? (Matt 6:27)

    The logic of the passage above makes little sense if, in fact, we can live longer or die sooner than planned. We, in fact, should be concerned about how to lengthen our lives since it can be done.

    I’m not, of course, suggesting that there is not a human perspective versus divine perspective here, but only that in the ultimate sense, from the divine perspective the length of our lives are planned it seems. We have responsibilities on our end, however, since our choices are the means through which God preserves us here until that time, and we are to seek life and what is glorifying to God in all things, whether in life or death we belong to the Lord (i.e., it would be evil, e.g., to argue that we should just be careless with life because God has set our time for us).

    A note on the texts that refer to a man’s life being cut off sooner than later: These texts seem to be working off of the idea that a man has about 70 or 80 years on average to live, and they are cut down sooner for their sin. These may verses from the human perspective, and/or they may just be in reference to what God would normally allot a man within His community of Israel if he had been righteous (i.e., a generic statement of judgment). Or, of course, this could refer to God cutting off a man’s life even shorter than what He would have originally allotted to them.

    But Thou, O God, wilt bring them down to the pit of destruction; Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. (Ps 55:23)

    Also see Ps 102:23-24; 119:84;

    I do think there is a “from above”/”from below” perspective thing going on here though. For instance, even though we should be careful using Proverbs to answer a question it was probably not answering, it is interesting that it says things like, “My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of life, and peace they will add to you.” (Prov 3:1–2; also see 9:11; 28:16)

    Of course, the best thing said about it is probably Ps 90, which brings both the sovereignty of God on the matter (assigning us “our days”) and our responsibility to use our lives well in light of how short they are (v. 12).

  8. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ec 3:1–2, 11)

    Go Mom!

  9. Matthew: My mom is a soft-determinist (although she doesn’t really know it) so it’s not surprising that she views God’s sovereignty in that way. Where do you see this kind of determinism leading?

    Bryan: So how you do see that relating to God’s sovereignty, or doesn’t it? In other words, since you don’t believe that anyone has a set time to die, is God in control of death (and life) or isn’t he?

    I don’t know that I necessarily find determinism more comforting but I can see how folks do.

    Beau: Okay, you seem to be getting into the whole “perfect” vs. “permissive” will thing. God’s perfect will is for us to live long lives but through disobedience and sin we cut our lives short and God merely permits it even though it’s not his greatest desire for us. Amen, but God knows the end from the beginning like you said, so he knows exactly when we’re gonna die, right? Couldn’t one argue that if God knows when then no matter what we can’t escape that time?

    Dino: Same question as I asked Beau; if God knows when everyone is going to die, then is it possible for them to die at any other time, and if not, then could they really die prematurely? Keep in mind that this also factors into discussions about free will—i.e., if God knows all of our choices before we make them, and we can never make a choice that God doesn’t already know we’ll make, then are our choices really free?—this is part of why some open theists don’t believe that God has exhaustive foreknowledge.

    Matthew: That’s a good insight, but to play devil’s advocate, if we weren’t created to die then why do we die? I’m of the opinion that humans were created mortal from the beginning, and it was disobedience that led to deprivation of the tree of life, which in turned just allowed nature to take its course so to speak. But the point I’m really getting at (and again, this is just to play devil’s advocate) is this: is there a way of understanding God’s sovereignty where he’s not in control of all that happens (from creation to fall to redemption to consummation)?

    Brian: I see your point but what about a baby like David’s first son with Bathsheba? God took his life. Did he go before his time? Or what about adults who die of curable diseases (in the US or abroad) or from honor killings, or random murders, or whatever? Is there really a difference?

    Hodge: In the presence of passages that seem to indicate it’s all in God’s hands, and others that seem to indicate the opposite, how do we determine which ones get hermeneutical priority? In other words, you’ve offered a cogent explanation of the “life cut short” type verses, but you’ve offered it in light of the passages that say it’s up to God. What’s to keep one from arguing in the opposite direction?

    Paul: I’ll pass on your approval! :-)

    For the record everyone—Beau goes to church with me and Dino is one of my oldest friends and also my pastor—it’s nice to have them commenting!

  10. Nick,

    I’m not quite sure how the opposite would work. The decision of the infinite versus the decisions of the finite would seem to yield a theology that the infinite is the ultimate decision and the finite the secondary. I can’t see how that would reverse itself. In other words, I can say that from my perspective, it looks like I add days to my life or cut them short by what I do, even though I know that God has already decided my days for me. But I don’t know if one could say, in God’s perspective, it looks like He has decided the lifespan of each individual, even though I know that I have really decided my own. To say it more plainly, I have a perspective that sees the means and concludes based upon those means that I did X, but God doesn’t just see the means, but the whole thing, so His conclusions are based on true knowledge and control of X. So I may speak as those the means are the ultimate cause, because that is my experience, but I’m not sure how God would speak that way of Himself, i.e., as though He was experiencing the event as I am rather than having direct knowledge and control of it.

    None of this really tells us why God chooses to set our days this way though, so you may be right in the sense that if God knows events independently from His cause of them, then one might put them together by saying, God has chosen the length of my days based upon what I have done. The problem with that, of course, is why He would choose to shorten the days of an infant, for instance.

  11. Nick,
    As far as his sovereignty is concerned if he wants someone to die then they do. If he wants to save someone from death then they’ll be saved, otherwise he let’s things play out as they may. If he wants to control it he can.

  12. I guess in that theology you could say God created sin and knew sins result and therefore God is evil…you see the problem..God creates life for worship and communion with him as a family, we wouldn’t deserve hell if we were created for it… we are cursed

  13. Actually I take that last statement back,that kinda goes against Romans ch9 v22..Let me pray on this for a little bit.

  14. Hodge: Makes sense. Thanks.

    Bryan: So you’d say something like God is sovereign but not meticulously so?

    Beau: That would assume that sin was something that was created. So far as I can tell sin is just disobedience to God’s will or a violation of God’s law or something like that. So now the question to ask is whether God causes evil or simply allows it and what the actual difference is between the two.

  15. Nick:
    Never saw your last response show up in My Comments so responding kind of late.
    I think God can be meticulously in control down if he wants to. I think God does whatever he wants and that may mean meticulous control at times and leaving things to work themselves out at other times. I don’t think God is a robot who acts according to a script or program but is personal and does what he knows is right. And because he is all powerful he can bring anything about that he wants to or let things play out on their own if he wants to.

  16. Psalms 90:8-10 You have set our iniquities before you our secret sins in the light of your countenance. 9) For all our days are passed away in your wrath: we spend our years as a tale being told. 10) The days of our years are 70 years and if by reason of Strength they be 80 years yet is their strength labor and sorrow(blessed years with health issues) for it is soon cut off and we fly away. If we follow the Lord according to His Holy word Exercised in

  17. If we Follow in the Lord’s Footsteps doing what He says do Living Righteously by Him nor the world or after the dark customs of it. We will have Life abundantly. 1 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of Power and Love and a Soundmind. POWER IS THE HOLY SPIRIT OF FAITH STRENGTH FIRE & OBEDIENCE,GOD THE FATHER ABBA DADDY IS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE SUFFICIENT GRACE & MERCY & FORGIVENESS & A SOUNDMIND IS THE WISDOM OF GOD THE SON OF GOD THE LORD OF LORDS & KING OF KINGS THE EVERLASTING FATHER THE MIGHTY PHYSICIAN THE HEALER THE REDEEMER THE LAMB OF GOD THE PRINCE OF PEACE THE LORD AND SAVIOR THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE & THE RESURRECTION I AM THE GREAT I AM WONDERFUL COUNSELOR THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON ALPHA & OMEGA JESUS CHRIST IS HIS NAME & THE MIND OF THE PERFECT MAN CHRIST IS THE CHANGE ATTITUDE THAT THE WHOLE FAMILY OF GOD FOR THE KINGDOM OF EVERLASTING GLORY UNDER HIS ORDAINED FIVEFOLD MINISTRY CHURCH AS MATURED CHRISTIANS IS HOW WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON ONE ACCORD NOT DEVIDED. GOD RECIEVES NO GLORY IN PREMATURE DEATH. HE DOESN’T NEED US TO CLOCK OUT EARLY WE HAVE WORK TO DO FOR HIM HERE ON HIS PRECIOUS TIME CLOCK NOT OURS OR THE DEVILS AND HIS KINGDOM OF DARKNESS. K.Chavis01

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