Billy Graham on Heaven: Why must we die?
Death is the penalty for sin—and because we are all infected with the disease of sin, we are all subject to death. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
Death was never part of God’s original plan. God told Adam and Eve, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).
There was nothing magical about the tree, but God had every right to withhold it from Adam and Eve and shield them from the knowledge of evil. But Satan was determined to make what was forbidden look attractive to Adam and Eve. The sin they committed was disobedience to God . . . and in time, they died—as God had warned. Satan’s lie that they would “be like God” overpowered them and made them forget all the provisions God had graciously given them (Genesis 3:5-7). This is the sin that saturates our hearts to this day—to believe Satan’s deceitful lies instead of respecting and honoring God’s gracious gifts.
Death is the common lot of every living thing: people, plants, and animals. Death afflicts all creation. From the moment a child is born, the dying process—and the fight against it—begins. But God, in His great love, made it possible for us to have victory over death, in spite of the fact that we must walk through it. The Bible tells us that death cannot separate believers in Jesus Christ from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). The Bible also says, “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live . . . For the Lord is your life” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
The death of the righteous is not to be feared or shunned. It is the shadowed threshold to Heaven—the palace of God.
from The Heaven Answer Book by Billy Graham