What Does the Bible Say About..A Time to Die?

Does The Bible say there is a predetermined time of death? I am familiar with Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 where Solomon mentions for everything there is a season, a time to be born and a time to die. I also believe that when the rapture occurs, those who are alive and children of Christ will meet him in the air and therefore will not die. Are there other verses that are more specific concerning a time of death?

Answer

I find nothing in the Bible that says that God has planned out each life so completely that he has predetermined a time of death. I know of nothing in the Bible that says that he doesnít. I do know that we each have free will, and that affects when some people may die. Someone may choose to do something stupid that causes their own, or someone elseís, death. We canít say that God caused that person to die because he had predetermined the death. Please see God Is In Control? for my previous article about whether God controls our lives that precisely.

Solomonís reference to a time to be born and a time to day is probably not saying there is a specific, predetermined time at which we will die. He is merely saying that in every life there are different occurrences, such that we all have periods of joy and of mourning, there are times when people give birth and times when people die. Everyone, if they choose to attend such things, may go to birthday parties and funerals many times in their life.

There may have been times that God chose to take a life because of disobedience, but even that could be changed. In 1 Kings 20 we read that King Hezekiah had a sickness from which he was to die, but when he prayed to God he was given more time on earth. God changed his mind.

The only person who, for sure, had a specific time to die was Jesus. But that was because it was what Paul called the right time (Galatians 4:4). Several times Jesus said, or it was said of him, that his hour had not yet come. Then he went to Jerusalem to die because his time had come.

As you mentioned, not everyone will die. Those that are still alive when the world comes to an end will not die but meet him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18). God may know when that will be, but he will not tell us, even saying there will be no signs of when that end will be.