Is Our Time to Die Predetermined?
The Bible’s answer
No, we do not have a predetermined time to die. Rather than supporting belief in fate, the Bible says that death is often due to “unexpected events.”—Ecclesiastes 9:11.
Doesn’t the Bible say that there is “a time to die”?
Yes, Ecclesiastes 3:2 says that there is “a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” (King James Version) However, the context of this verse shows that the Bible is discussing the continuing cycles that are common to life. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) God has not set our personal time to die any more than he forces a farmer to plant at a particular moment. Instead, the point is that we should avoid being so preoccupied with mundane matters that we neglect our Creator.—Ecclesiastes 3:11; 12:1, 13.
Life can be extended
Despite life’s uncertainties, we can often live longer if we make wise decisions. The Bible says: “The teaching of the wise one is a source of life to turn one away from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 13:14) Likewise, Moses told the Israelites that they could “live a long time” if they obeyed God’s commands. (Deuteronomy 6:2) In contrast, we can carelessly shorten our life by bad or foolish actions.—Ecclesiastes 7:17.
No matter how wise or careful we are, though, we cannot escape death. (Romans 5:12) Yet, this situation will change, for the Bible promises a time when “death will be no more.”—Revelation 21:4.