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Is My Lifespan Determined by God?


Ask the Pastor…

Pastor, Is it possible that I could I die prematurely?
Have you ever heard someone refer to ‘an untimely death’ – say in the case of someone who has died in their younger years. They are implying that the deceased has died ahead of their predetermined time – died early. So, is it possible a person may die before God has ordained that they should die? Not at all!

God is sovereign over our lives. It is God who ordains our lives, the time we are born, and the time we die. (Eccles 3). In fact our appointment with death has already been made, and we WILL keep that appointment. Hebrews 9:27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

The sovereign God is omniscient, and is omnipotent.
We can trust Him. Whether we live or die, we are in God’s hands, and we can always trust Him to do what is right for us. 1 Thess 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Our lives are very short, in comparison with eternity. Psalm 39:4 O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! 5 Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you.j Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!

Heidelberg Catechism:
27. What do you understand by the providence of God?
The almighty, everywhere-present power of God, (1) whereby, as it were by His hand, He still upholds heaven and earth with all creatures,(2) and so governs them that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink,(3) health and sickness,(4) riches and poverty,(5) indeed, all things come not by chance, but by His fatherly hand.
(1)Acts 17:25-26. (2)Heb. 1:3. (3)Jer. 5:24; Acts 14:17. (4)Jn. 9:3. (5)Prov. 22:2; Ps. 103:19; Rom. 5:3-5a.

28. What does it profit us to know that God created, and by His providence upholds, all things?
That we may be patient in adversity,(1) thankful in prosperity,(2) and for what is future have good confidence in our faithful God and Father, that no creature shall separate us from His love,(3) since all creatures are so in His hand, that without His will they cannot so much as move.(4)
(1)Rom. 5:3; Jas. 1:3; Job 1:21. (2)Deut. 8:10; I Thess. 5:18. (3)Rom. 8:35, 38-39. (4)Job 1:12; Acts 17:25-28; Prov. 21:1; Ps. 71:7; II Cor. 1:10.

So, what of those verses that seem to suggest a person man die prematurely? (Like Ps 55:23). Firstly, we must never remove a single verse from the context in which it is written, secondly we must never be removed to build a doctrine on a single verse, or on a few unconnected verses, out if context. Certainly, a man may not live his full lifespan, and that may well be as a result of his own sin, equally, it may be due to illness or an accident, but that does not and cannot in any way violate the sovereignty of God. He may die before his time in the eyes of men, but in the sight of God, he will be keeping his appointment with eternity.

From → Ask the Pastor

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