Over the last 10 years or so I have met several people who had very irrational and abnormal fears of dying young. When I asked them what they felt was young, they said they did not expect to live past an age range of 40-55 years of age.
When I asked them why they felt this way, the answer I always got was because one of their parents had died young, usually in their 40’s or 50’s. I guess they thought there was some kind of curse on them, and that what happened to one of their parents was going to happen to them.
Personally, I feel this type of fear is completely irrational, abnormal, and very unhealthy. The Bible tells us that as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
If you think you will have no chance to live a long and fruitful life, and will follow directly after one of your parent’s early death, then you could be setting up a sequence of events to occur that could take you home early as a result of this fatalistic type of thinking.
What does the Bible have to say about God wanting us to live long lives? For those of you who are not aware of these verses from Scripture, I think you will be pleasantly surprised to find that God does want many of His people living long lives down here on this earth – and that this is a particular blessing that He can grant to us if we meet certain conditions under the New Covenant that we now have with Jesus.
Before I get into the conditions that must be met before we can expect to receive this type of long life blessing from God the Father, and the actual Scripture verses showing that God can grant this type of blessing to us – I just want to make one common sense argument to those of you who may be battling this type of irrational fear.
If your fear of dying young is based upon the fact that one of your parents have died young, then this means that every one of the other children in your family should also die in about the same age range that you are expecting to die in!
But we obviously know from actual factual evidence that this is not the case. Children within families all die in different kinds of age ranges – from early on to ripe old ages of 80-90 years of age.
If you feel that you are going to die within an age range of 40-55, then this should also apply to the rest of your brothers and sisters as well.
And since we know that this is not what actually happens within family structures, you should be able to logically reason from this that if your other brothers and sisters are not subject to dying within this early age range, then neither are you!
Just simple logic and reason dealing with the actual facts should convince you that you are not living under any type of curse that could take you home early.
You have to realize that we have all been created as an unique, individual person under the hand of God Himself. He, and He alone, knows the day and time that you will be called to go home to be with Him for all of eternity in heaven. Your path and walk with the Lord is completely separate and different from anyone else’s, including your own natural flesh-and-blood parents.
Just as no two people have the same set of fingerprints, no two people have the exact same walk and destiny with the Lord. This means you cannot compare your walk, your destiny, your fruit, and where your life is going in the Lord to anyone else’s own personal journey with the Lord.
We all have our own unique and individual walks and destinies with the Lord, and He will be the One who will set the date and time when you will be called home to be with Him for all of eternity – not you, not anyone else, and not any previous set of circumstances like what you may dealing with on one of your own parents dying early!
God is totally sovereign in all of His ways – and this includes how He will handle and direct your life and eventually when He will be calling you home to be with Him in heaven!
Since God is totally sovereign in the way that He will be handling, directing and controlling your life, this means you cannot even begin to predict when you will depart from this life! This revelation right here should break this abnormal fear right off your back!
When your mother or father died has absolutely no bearing on when you will die! If it did, then you would be stealing from the way that God wants to sovereignly work and handle your life.
This means that God will be the One to choose the day, the time, and the method of your departure from this life. This choice by God Himself, as to how and when you will die, has absolutely nothing to do with when or how your own parents had died.
Before I get into the actual Scripture verses showing that this is a specific blessing that God can bestow upon us, I first want to show you what the specific conditions are that must be met before this kind of blessing can be released to you. There are three of them.
Study these three specific conditions very carefully if you want to have any chance of getting God to give you this long life blessing. Many Christians fail to live long and fruitful lives in the Lord due to violating some of the second and third conditions mentioned below.
1. This Blessing is Only for Jews and Christians
As you will see when I state the Scripture verses below, this kind of blessing is only available to the Jewish people who are still operating under the Abrahamic Covenant of the Old Testament with God the Father, and Christians who are now operating under the New Testament covenant that we now have with Jesus Christ.
Nowhere in Scripture does God state that this type of blessing is for nonbelievers. Granted, many nonbelievers live to ripe old ages – but that is just because of good cause and effect operating within their lives. Good genes, healthy bodies, and good luck have all combined to give many nonbelievers long and healthy lives.
However, just the opposite is also true. Many nonbelievers have died early, never having a chance to live to their 70’s, 80’s or 90’s. Some get lucky, some do not.
But with Christians and the Jewish people, we are now looking at a whole different ballgame with a whole different set of rules that are now in play. We are both operating under a covenant direct with God Almighty Himself. The Jewish people direct with God the Father under the covenant that He had established with Abraham, and the Christians direct with the new covenant that God the Father has now established through His Son Jesus Christ.
All of the Scripture verses mentioned below are from the Old Testament. These were statements being made by God the Father direct to the Jewish people. They were not meant for anyone else. As Christians, we are also entitled to all of the same blessings that God the Father promised the Jewish people back in the Old Testament. We are all “joint heirs” to these blessings as a result of becoming saved and born again through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
This is why each Christian should spend some good quality time studying the Old Testament – to find out what these blessings are and the conditions that must be met in order to be able to receive these kinds of blessings. And the blessing to be able to live a good long life in God is definitely one of those particular blessings!
2. The Full Surrender
As I have stated over and over in all of my other articles – the #1 key in getting to God to move full force into your life is to come under a full and complete surrender with Him.
If you want God’s best for your life, then you will have to give Him your best – and your best is a full and complete surrender of your body, soul, spirit, and your entire life. He wants all four of these things fully surrendered to Him so He can have full and complete control of your entire life in order to properly work it and build it up in Him.
Each Christian, once they have become saved and born again, will now have to make one more big final decision with how they will live out the allotted amount of time they still have left down here on this earth. Who will direct and control your life and where it will now head – you or God?
Will Jesus now become both Lord and Savior over your life, or just your Savior? In order to get this particular long life blessing bestowed upon you, you have to make Jesus the Lord over your life! Making Jesus the Lord over your life means you will now turn the reigns of your life over to Him, and He will now be the One to lead and direct your life in the direction that He will now want it to go in.
If you are willing to make this kind of sacrifice and commitment to God, then you can expect to receive some incredible blessings that are under the Abrahamic covenant of the Old Testament that the Jewish people had with God the Father.
I guess another word for some of these types of blessings are “perks.” Some of the other blessings, besides being able to live a long life, would be to have divine health, divine healing when needed, and divine protection from your enemies.
I believe this may be one of the main reasons why many Christians do not live long lives. They have never turned the reigns of their lives over to God the Father for Him to fully handle. They are running their own shows and calling all of their own shots. As a result, they are operating under a whole different set of rules.
If you make the personal decision to run your own life instead of turning it over to God the Father, then you will be taking yourself right out of some of the above blessings.
If you are not, then you will place yourself operating under the same set of rules and laws that the nonbeliever is operating under, and that is under the law of cause and effect. If you are fortunate enough to be born with a good healthy body, and get lucky with some of the cause and effects that could occur throughout your lifetime, then you may get lucky enough to live to a ripe old age.
However, if you are not lucky on a particular day, and find yourself at the wrong place at the wrong time, then you may go home early, possibly much earlier that God would have really liked had you been doing His perfect will for you life rather than your own will.
Example – say your driving towards an intersection, and if you keep going at the same rate you are going you will be broadsided by a drunk driver that you will never see coming and you will die at the scene of this intersection.
If you are not living under a full surrender with God the Father, then God is not leading and directing your life. And if God is not leading and directing your life, then God may choose not to stop this accident from occurring and you will thus end up going home early.
However, if you are operating under a full surrender with God the Father and He is now leading and directing your life, then He can now choose to protect you from this accident because you have not finished your work for Him down here yet. God will then move to run interference and will prevent this accident from occurring in order to keep you out of harm’s way, and to keep your life extended so you can fully complete all of the divine missions that He has called you to complete for Him in this life.
This scenario right here is a perfect example of how some Christians manage to live a long life in the Lord and others do not. The Christian who is operating under a full surrender with God has maximum protection from Him because this person has a divine destiny that has to be fulfilled for Him while living down here. And until that mission and purpose has been fully fulfilled, God is not going to be bringing this person home early.
But the Christian who is not living under this full surrender with God does not have His maximum protection on them – and if they do not have this full protection on them – then they could possibly die and go home early if by chance they happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time as described in the above scenario.
3. Walk in All of God’s Ways – Obey All of God’s Commandments
As you will see in the Scripture verses stated below, the third requirement that must be met in order to get this long life blessing bestowed upon you is that once you enter into this full surrender with the Lord where He is now fully directing your life in the direction that He will want it to go in – you will have seek to obey all of His commandments and seek to walk in all of His ways.
The Bible specifically lays out exactly what God is looking for and expecting from each one of us. These “ways” and “commandments” of the Lord are all spelled out very clearly in both the Old and New Testaments.
Now here is where many Spirit-filled, fully surrendered Christians get into major trouble with the Lord. God has them perfectly traveling on the straight and narrow road. He has them successfully fulfilling the calls that He has placed on their lives. He has blessed them with incredible marriages, incredible financial resources, and has given them good physical health so they can effectively carry out their divine assignments for Him.
And then all of a sudden it happens. Temptation crosses their path. Example – a married Christian man, while out of town, decides He is going to have a one-night stand. He figures one time won’t hurt – his wife will never find out about it – he has been doing so good with God all of these years that maybe God will overlook just this one transgression.
However, he is overlooking one major thing. Once he steps out to succumb to this temptation for even just one time, he places himself outside the protective hedge that God has built up around him. This protective hedge will not cover him if he “steps out of bounds” – if he steps off the straight and narrow road that God has him traveling on. He has now stepped off the road onto the shoulder, not seeing the ditch that is right off the end of that shoulder.
He then goes to bed with this woman one time, not knowing that she is HIV positive. As a result of stepping out of his boundary lines for even one time, he ends up getting aids and dies 5 years later. He thus ends up going home much earlier than God would have really liked, and he never gets to fully complete the rest of his divine destiny with the Lord
Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggert are two perfect examples of major men in God who completely lost their huge TV ministries as a result of being caught in some serious transgressions against the Lord. However, in their case, God was not dealing with a one-time offense.
They kept repeating the same offense over and over again, until finally God had to remove His hand of divine protection from them and their ministries – and as a result, they both fell and lost it all!
The Scripture Verses
Now here are 5 very good Scripture verses that will tell us that a long life is really possible to receive from the Lord if we have our act together with Him per the above conditions.
- “… I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days …” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
- “For by Me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.” (Proverbs 9:11)
- “You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.” (Deuteronomy 5:33)
- “My son, do not forget My law, but let your heart keep My commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.” (Proverbs 3:1)
- “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)
Notice the very specific wording in these verses that this long life blessing is attached to:
- Love the Lord
- Obey His voice
- Cling to Him
- Walk in all of His ways
- Keep My commands – do not forget My law
- Honor your father and your mother
From the way these Scripture verses are reading, I believe God is telling us that having a long life is really possible for many of His people if they will enter into a true, personal relationship with Him, come into a full and complete surrender of their entire lives over to Him, and then stay out of any serious sins and transgressions against Him.
I think the main reason God would like many of His people to have long lives is so they can complete whatever calls and plans that He has set up for their lives – and also for them to be able to enjoy the fruit of all their labors before they go home to be with Him for all of eternity.
I think the greatest example of this would be in our marriages. I think God wants to give us the ability to grow old so we can watch all of our children grow up, and then watch them get married and have their own children.
You have put forth a tremendous amount of time, effort, and energy raising your children to be good, God-fearing and law abiding adults. Now God wants you to be able to sit back, relax, and watch your children fruit out as the men and women that He wants them to become in Him.
You have the rest of eternity to spend with God on the other side, but you only have one chance down here on this earth to watch your children physically grow up right before your very eyes. Once we all enter into heaven, we will all be set at a certain age.
Never again will you be able to see your son or daughter grow up physically, emotionally, and spiritually right before your very eyes. You only get one chance down here to see this event occur, and I think God would like to give a lot more of His people this long life blessing so they can see all of this take place in their lifetime.
God is Still Sovereign in All of His Ways
But what about the Christian who has done everything right in God? They have stayed in a full surrender with God, have maxed out on the call that He has placed on their lives, and have stayed out of any serious sins and transgressions against Him.
And then all of sudden it happens, this person dies young, in their early 40’s or 50’s – right in the prime of their life. He is married, has 4 or 5 children, all half grown, and then God takes this person home early right in the middle of his marriage and call in Him. How do you explain something like this with the way the above Scripture verses are being worded?
The Bible tells us that our God is a very merciful God – but it also tells us that He will have mercy and compassion on those whom He wills. Here is the verse:
For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion …” Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.” (Romans 9:15,18)
This verse tells us that God is still sovereign in reference to all of the blessings that He can bestow upon us in this life. If God chooses to take someone home right in the middle of the prime of their life, then I believe that He has a very specific reason for doing so. For those who will seek after it, I believe God will sometimes let you know why this person was taken home so early, but other times He will not.
If God chooses not to tell you why this person was brought home so early, then you have to fully trust that He had a very good reason for doing it and to let it go at that, and not hold any grudges against Him for doing it!
I believe there is a very good chance that you may find out what that specific reason was when you cross over into heaven. But until that day occurs, you have to continue to have childlike faith and trust in Him. God always knows best, and the reason that person was brought home so early may have been in the best interests of that person.
God knows what all of our futures will hold for us. Maybe this person was heading for some kind of disastrous event, and God chose to actually manifest mercy on this person by taking him home early in order to spare him the ordeal of having to go through that traumatic event.
I gave this example in another article, but it is worth repeating for this one. I will never forget this woman’s testimony. She said she had a 10-year-old son who was dying of an incurable disease. She started praying to God that He heal her son, but God kept coming back at her telling her that He did not want to heal him and for her to let it go.
She would not take no for an answer. She kept praying and praying for her son’s healing. Due to her continued persistence, God decides to answer her prayer and heal her son. And then the story ends stating that the woman lived just long enough to see her son hanged as a criminal for a murder he ended up committing at 41 years of age.
God obviously knew what the future was going to hold for this boy, but his mother did not. Because God knew what was going to happen to her son down the road, God was actually showing incredible mercy and compassion on the boy by being willing to take him home early to spare him and his family the trauma of having to go through such a horrible event, not to mention the grief and agony of the family of the person who would eventually be murdered.
This story right here perfectly illustrates the sovereign nature of God, and that it is in all of our best interests that God continue to run things sovereignly, since He is the only One who knows what all of our futures will hold and what is in all of our best interests!
For those of you who have lost loved ones in their prime and have been wrestling with God on this issue as to why He would take them home so early – try pressing in and ask God why He allowed your loved one to be taken home so early.
If after a reasonable length of time you get no real answer from Him, then take the position that God has made a sovereign choice to take your loved one home early, that there was a very good and specific reason that He did so, and let it go at that!
Get on with your life and do not hold any grudges against God for the personal decision He made to take your loved one home early! If you do not, then you may end up carrying around an eternal regret once you enter into heaven and God then tells you what the very good reason was that He brought your loved one home so early.
And once you find out what that very good reason was, you are going to kick yourself in the butt for even questioning God in the first place, and possibly carry an eternal regret knowing that you lost very valuable years in this life due to the grudge that you held against Him all of the remaining years of your life here on this earth.
Life is simply way too short to be holding a personal grudge against God for something that He may have done that was in the best interests for everyone involved.
Holding this kind of grudge against God could also rob you of some incredible years you could still have left here on this earth. Holding this kind of personal grudge against God is obviously going to affect the personal relationship that you have established with Him, and it could also cause you to start to pull away from Him.
And once you start to pull away from Him, then He may just start to pull away from you. And once this happens, you have just taken yourself right off His playing field and you may have just lost any chance to receive whatever else good God may have had in store for you in this lifetime. And that will be your eternal regret #2!
Bottom line – let it go, trust that God has made the right choice by taking you loved one home early, and stay on the path that He has set you up on.
Remember, your loved one is no longer in your past – this person is now in your future – waiting with open arms to see you again once you enter into heaven. And once you enter into heaven, you will never be separated from this loved one ever again!