What Lives Matter
How do we, as a society, decide who or “what lives” should matter or not matter? There are opinion polls, it seems, every few minutes trying to convince us of who is really important in our lives. I, as a Christian, do not have to worry about opinion polls. I can go to God alone. Some might think that this is impossible. God does not verbally speak to individuals; but God has left us a message book, the Bible, to help guide us and show us His thoughts on who and what is important to Him.
So, let’s consider “what lives” should matter?
Without getting into the messy politics, is there one life that is more important than another. No, I can go to the first book of the Bible and consider the creation story. Look at some of the verses in the book of Genesis.
1. All human life matters because man was created in the image of God.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day (Genesis 1:26-31).
Man is the only being that was created in the image of God. He is distinctive by this fact. God also gave him power over plant and animal life. This makes man a special creation of God. God is the One Who has distinguished man this way.
God is the Source and Sustainer of life.
And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).
This helps us understand that life is a gift to man. God formed man after His own image; He breathed the breath of life into man’s nostrils, and man became a living soul. This is not said about plants and animals. I am not advocating shooting your dog or cat, but animals are not on the same “playing field” as man. All of mankind, no matter his color, background, or ethnicity is a special creation of God. Do you see how bringing God into the picture helps make life more special? By removing God, we are on a same level as animals or plant life. This is belittling man’s worth in the sight of God.
God looks at who a man is, not at what he looks like on the outside.
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart
(1 Samuel 16:7).
God has set the standard and has taken responsibility for deciding the value of life. God has a bigger perspective than any human. He can see what you cannot see. God even sees babies as a special creation.
Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations (Jeremiah 1:5).
All human life, even the unborn child matters to God.
2. Human life matters because it has a soul that is eternal.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Matthew 22:29-32).
When God spoke the words which Jesus quoted in this passage, the patriarchs had long since been dead; yet God designated Himself as still being their God. Their souls, therefore, were still living because God is “not the God of the dead, but of the living.”
Man’s body ages, but the soul does not.
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
The outward man grows old and weakens, but there is something within man that is renewed day by day. Thus, the Scriptures teach that man has a dual nature—both body and soul, both body and spirit.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you (Philippians 1:21-24).
Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:). We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).
If Paul ceased to be when he died, how could he be present with the Lord while absent from the body? Also, why did Paul say it was far better to depart and be with Christ? If he was nonexistent when he departed, it would have been far better to remain here to aid the saints. This shows that there is a separation of soul and body when one departs from this world.
These passages should affirm to us there is an afterlife to which our soul will go. We then are different than plant or animal life. There is no “plant heaven” or “doggie heaven.” Both plants and animals cease to exist. Man, however, will spend eternity either in heaven or hell.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works (Revelation 20:12).
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).
Man’s existence is not just here on this earth. He is an eternal being; he has an eternal soul. We don’t have time to get into all the silly theories that man has created, such as soul sleep, reincarnation, etc. We need to be concerned with where we are going to spend eternity.