Does God will death?

Hello everybody,

I have a question and i can’t seem to find an answer.

It is known that God is love, And as such God cannot will death, and death is a cause of sin.

However, it is seen in the old testament that many times either directly or indirectly God has killed. (Such as the flood)

How can a God that is LOVE will death?

THanks in advance

It is obvious that He does will death, because death happens.


I don’t think that’s true at all. God didn’t will the fall of Adam. He knew it was going to happen but He didn’t will it. Death is entirely our creation.

Death puts an end to sin and can also serve as the beginning of atonement for sin in Purgatory. As such, it is not an end in itself to the spiritual soul or the bodily resurrection, but an opportunity for a new beginning, which some call eternal salvation. The suffering and death of children is more difficult to explain. However, it too is part of G-d’s will although it has been argued by Christians that it is man’s sinning against G-d through his free will, which takes the form of original sin, that brought death into the world.

Adam and Eve were created as immortal beings. From God’s perspective, they and we, still are. What we call “death” is a transition from this material world to the original spiritual one. God doesn’t “will” death. In the Book of Genesis God tells Adam and Eve that they would return to dust because of their sin. Death is not a cause of sin. Sin is a cause of death.

Death, from our perspective, seems like a bad thing - and I don’t deny that we feel sorrow when someone we love dies - but the reality is that death is a good thing because it reunites us with the ultimate source of life itself.

I think that the deaths God ordered in the Old Testament were somehow a part of his divine plan - a plan which we cannot fully fathom from this side of eternity but will make sense, I think, in heaven when all is revealed.

In the end, we all die. By prayer we might be able to change the timing and circumstances but not the eventuality. God doesn’t will our suffering (death); rather God wills us to return to him. God is a God of life - not death.

I do hope that this helps answer your question

I think so too. God didn’t want death as he didn’t want sin. And this is clear.
But God does want freedom for us. So death comes from our choice, although it is the opposite of what God wants. Death is permitted, because it is a just punishment. It came because of us, but it is NOT our creation. We are not creators. We only do what is opposite to God’s will.

You have incorrectly assumed that death is bad for us.

It is said that love is “to will the good of another.” God is love, and God wills our good. If God wills our death, then our death is good. You may well ask, what’s so good about death? Well, death is necessary in order for us to obtain a greater good, something not just a little better, but infinitely better than earthly life, namely eternal life in the glorious presence of God.

Why is death necessary for that happy outcome? I don’t know. That’s another question.

P.S. While I was composing this message, Paul Rubiola wrote almost the same thing in his post appearing above. Thanks!

Well, death is indeed bad for us. Death is a punishment for sin.

To make yourself clearer, you have to say that before the fall, death didn’t exist.
And NOW, death, because of Christ, is no longer a problem. But why would Jesus save us from it, if it was good? So when you say it is good because God ALLOWS it, it is because of freedom and justice.

I am sure you’re right, but you express it unclearly :slight_smile:

Then I’ll go with what Mr. Rubiola said.

If death means annihilation or oblivion, then yes, I would agree that it is bad. On the other hand, if death is understood as a stage of life, or a passage from this world to the next, then it is good, or at least it ultimately leads to good for those who are saved.

I do not agree. Death is a consequence of sin, not a punishment for sin.

Consecutive punishment if you like. It is sure a consequence, you are right, but that consequence is of a sentencial nature. In Romans 6 it is translated wage, not a mere consequence, but the negative reward.

Hopefully not to derail the thread but I agree the idea of sin being a punishment isn’t really accurate. Scripture never says that.

Even if it is self-inflicted, it is to me. Men chose what he chose, but he didn’t curse himself :smiley: He was cursed, by God. And yes, nothing definitive as we know, at least if we are saved in the end.

Again, I am not saying I diagree with the fact that it is a consequence of sin, but because of the nature of sin (opposition to God), this consequence isn’t neutral, and takes grace away, which a great damage. Surely, the punishment is overwhelmed by forgiveness, but it is still a punishment to me. We may find the balance between your and my view, even a conciliation since I feel it is the same. :slight_smile:

You are asking the wrong question. To word the question “Does God will death” as such insults God because you are lumping something bad with God. It is the same question to ask “Does God will people to be possessed by demons” or “Does God will for people to be raped.” The providence of God is what is important and the “state of journeying” in which we were created. The saints have been very clear that God can make good from evil, while never making the evil itself good. So Death will never be a good, yet God can use death to accomplish good. It is not his creation in the sense that it is merely an absence of life, not a substance in of itself. Blindness is not a substance, but eyes are, and blindness could not exist without eyes being created in a way that they could become blind. The soul is similar, it was created to live, but was made in God’s wisdom to be able to die, but death is not a “thing”. It is a privation of life.

I have always liked St. Ambrose’s words on the subject:…
Death was not part of nature; it became part of nature. God did not decree death from the beginning;* he prescribed it as a remedy***. Human life was condemned because of sin to unremitting labor and unbearable sorrow and so began to experience the burden of wretchedness. There had to be a limit to its evils; death had to restore what life had forfeited. Without the assistance of grace, immortality is more of a burden than a blessing.

Liturgy of Hours, Office of Readings for November 2. (scroll to bottom)

It would be quite awful to exist forever in our mortal bodies that are subject to pain, suffering, ongoing physical deterioration.

I agree with you.

Originally Posted by Seraphim73
“Hopefully not to derail the thread but I agree the** idea of sin being a punishment isn’t really accurate.** Scripture never says that.”

Not the sin, but death is a punishment. Sin is the result of a bad choice. Per se, it is only the consequence of your choice. But this implies that you lose grace. And that God wants, that you lose your grace freely, as you freely wanted something else than His will.

Yes I misspoke. I meant so say the idea that death is a punishment for sin is not accurate. :thumbsup:

Romans 6

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness.[d] 21 But what profit did you get then from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification,[e] and its end is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What do you mean by “the idea that death is a punishment for sin is not accurate”? What is your idea?

This is interesting! I am learning about this, and I do not mean to be argumentative.

As I was writing my last post, I looked up Romans 6, and also Genesis 2 and 3, to see if Scripture tells us that death is punishment. It is not clear.

In matters of employment, wages are neither a gift nor a punishment, but the exchange of work for money according to an agreement. Why did Paul write “wages”? I am not sure. Elsewhere in Romans 6, Paul seems to be saying that we choose by our actions. Sin leads to death. Righteousness leads to sanctification and, with God’s help, to life. That language could be consistent with the view that death is a consequence.

In Genesis, God tells Adam that if he eats the forbidden fruit, he will die. God did not say he would slay Adam, or that he would institute death as a punishment. He just said “in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” To me, that sounds like consequence. Later on he tells the woman that he will intensify the pain of her childbearing. That sounds more like punishment. Then he tells Adam some other bad news but also says “cursed is the ground because of you.” If Adam caused it, it is more like a consequence of his actions.

I am not saying I’m right and you’re wrong, but clearly I am working on the assumption that God is merciful and would not harm us, and yet gives us the freedom to harm ourselves. In this regard, I imagine God is like the father of the prodigal son. He did not punish his son. He did not deprive his son of his share of the inheritance. The son did that for himself.

“Seek not death in the error of your life: and pull not upon yourselves destruction with the works of your hands. For God made not death: neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living.” - Wisdom of Solomon 1:12-13

Well a wage isn’t a punishment. In the Garden God didn’t say if you eat of the fruit surely I will kill you, He said if you eat of the fruit surely you will die. If I tell you if you jump of that bridge you will die if you go ahead and jump I didn’t kill you. In fact I tried to warn you. God is the source of life so when we cut ourselves off from Him we died. God certainly didn’t kill us.

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