CON Contact Us DON Donate
Our History General Assembly Worldwide Outreach Ministries Standards Resources

Question and Answer

If Jesus conquered death, why do people still die?


If Jesus conquered death, why do people still die?


Thank you for your question to us. Your question is excellent; it is, in fact, almost exactly the same as was asked in our Westminster Larger Catechism, which was written hundreds of years ago. The question there, and the answer, are full of sweet comfort for the child of God; let me quote it for you.

Q. 85. Death being the wages of sin, why are not the righteous delivered from death, seeing all their sins are forgiven in Christ?
A. The righteous shall be delivered from death itself at the last day, and even in death are delivered from the sting and curse of it; so that, although they die, yet it is out of God’s love, to free them perfectly from sin and misery, and to make them capable of further communion with Christ in glory, which they then enter upon.

Please note the various parts of the answer. Death came upon the world as the consequence of sin; it is God’s curse on a fallen creation. But the earth itself will be freed from that bondage. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:20–21). So, until Christ returns, death will remain in this world; at that time, it will be removed.

This is an evangelical truth. The wicked are regularly confronted with the truth that they cannot escape the consequences of their sin. No matter how hard sinners try to ignore death or paint it in happy colors, the ugliness remains and the threat hovers over their heads. It is an unescapable call to repentance, a reminder that they WILL meet God.

But to the Christian, death is a blessing! It proceeds from the love of God, and does us wondrous good! We know something of the miseries of this life and share in part the relief when a dear saint is taken home to be with the Lord. For the believer, death is the end of ALL misery.

But there is much more. We are freed from our greatest misery, the indwelling sin that so besets us. All of the battles against our sin, all of the grief that we feel when we must confess our sins before God, all of the failures to love him purely and properly—all of these are gone!

And still there is more. We are made able to commune with God as fully as a creature can ever commune with the Creator. We will know him Whom our soul loves, and have deeper fellowship with him than we have ever enjoyed in life. The corruptions of sin are gone, and we no longer have anything that interferes with our enjoyment of God. As pure sons of God, we will fully enjoy the embrace of our Father.

It is sometimes hard for us to grasp these things in the pain of the death of a loved one. But we must remember that, for the believer, our sorrow is for ourselves. The departed Christian has lost nothing, and gained all.

About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

© 2019 The Orthodox Presbyterian Church



Chaplains and Military Personnel

Diaconal Ministries


Inter-Church Relations

Ministerial Care

Planned Giving

Short-Term Missions


Church Directory

Daily Devotional

Audio Sermons

Trinity Hymnal

Camps & Conferences

Gospel Tracts

Book Reviews



Presbyterian Guardian