I am sorry about loss of your sister. Since God designed all people as relational beings, the loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences of our lives. Nothing that can be said can erase this pain. Although we understand intellectually that everyone dies at some point, the reason behind death, especially the death of the young, is not always readily apparent.
Why did God design humans to die?
The question of human death is not easy to understand without a basic understanding of why God created people in the first place. The Bible says that people were created with the capacity to love - both each other and God Himself. Jesus said that the most important commandment was to "love the Lord your God"1 and that the second most important commandment was to "love your neighbor."2 In doing these things, we fulfill our purpose for our lives and glorify God.3 The capacity for love comes directly from God, whom the Bible says is the embodiment of love.4 Although the ability to love and be loved is a source of great joy, when the object of that love, your sister, died, it was a great sorrow to you.
God's love is virtually limitless. Because of this fact, God's first commandment to humanity was to "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth."5 God wanted a large number of people whom He could love. Jesus explained the ultimate goal of God in the parable of the banquet:
Jesus replied: "A certain man [representing God] was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.' Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.' Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.' The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.' 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.' Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.'" (Luke 14:16-23)
Therefore, God wants not only a relationship with humans in this universe, but a relationship with billions6 of these creatures in His future, perfect creation, heaven. Death is the only means by which the spirit of people can enter into the presence of God.7 In fact, God rejoices in the death of those who love Him,8 since they can enter directly into His presence at that time.
Therefore, the Bible says that the purpose of life is to choose to love or reject God. Those who love God and accept His provision for entering into His presence will spend eternity with God and those other people who love Him. Those who want nothing to do with God and reject God's offer will be separated from God for all eternity.
Why did my sister die early in life?
The early, untimely death of loved ones is difficult to understand emotionally, since we have come to expect that everybody lives at least 70 years. The answer is likely to be different for different individuals. The Bible does give some reason for early death. The Bible says that the early death of the righteous is often done to save them from evil that would have been inflicted on them by the unrighteous.9 Of course, the early death of the unrighteous spares the world from further evil and spares the unrighteous one from even more punishment that he would have to suffer as a result of his actions.
Will I see my sister again?
Yes! The Bible promises that those who love God and accept His provision for entering into His presence will spend eternity together with Him. Since all the people present in heaven will be perfected to holiness, it will be a joyous time, without the problems of having to deal with the nastiness of people that we experience in this life. My hope is that you will take comfort in the promises of God and that He will comfort and console you during this time.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
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- Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'" (Matthew 22:37) See also Deuteronomy 6:5.
- "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'" (Matthew 22:39)
- "Let your light shine before men in such a way that
they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
- But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart
rejoices in Your salvation. (Psalm 13:5)
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4:16)
- And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth... (Genesis 1:27-28)
- After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. (Revelation 7:9)
- Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:50)
- Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His godly ones. (Psalm 116:15)
- "The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. (Isaiah 57:1-2)