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How To Fake Your Own Death

Hypocrisy Dead (to sin) Spiritual Health

Source: “So you think you can fake your own death?” by Elizabeth Greenwood, Linked In, Sep 10, 2016

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-02-18

Scripture: Colossians 3:5

Author: Illustration Exchange


Elizabeth Greenwood writes: 

Faking your death—both as a concept and as an act people attempt with surprising frequency — first occurred to me over dinner with a friend at a cheap Vietnamese restaurant. I had just enrolled in a graduate program, and had taken out a brand new batch of student loans to heap upon a hefty debt from college.

As I bitched about the financial mess I’d gotten myself into, and how I feared I might never get out of it, I fantasized about finding a sun-bleached country with a rickety government and no extradition policy and just slipping through the cracks, disappearing without a trace.

“Or you could fake your own death,” my friend offered.

That conversation sent me on a years-long quest tracking down people who have faked their own deaths and interviewing experts in the art of disappearance. Along the way, I picked up a few Dos and Don’ts. 

Don’t subscribe to conventional wisdom: The biggest challenge of faking your death is that teensy problem of your body. So fake a drowning, right? Wrong ... In most drownings, the body is recovered.  According to Rambam, hiking is the way to go. “People disappear hiking all the time, legitimately. That’s a great way to disappear.”  

Don’t Google yourself: Bad enough he tried it by water, but the temptation was too much for Patrick McDermott, Australian singer Olivia Newton-John’s longtime boyfriend, who faked his death on a fishing trip in 2005 shortly after the couple had broken up. Having recently filed for bankruptcy, he chartered a boat and allegedly fell overboard at night. A group of private investigators hired by Dateline NBC located McDermott when they noticed a centralized cluster of IP addresses originating near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, all clicking onto a site dedicated to tracing his whereabouts.

Don’t assume a fake identity: There’s no law on the books called “faking your own death.” If you don’t file a police report or death certificate, making it look like you are deceased violates no law except perhaps that of good taste. Promoting the idea that you have met an untimely end when in fact you are lazing beachside, paying for your daiquiris with a suitcase full of cash, is perfectly legal.

Do ask yourself: Can you bear to hold your own death certificate in your hands?: ...Most successful death fraud is carried out with high quality authentic documents ... But actually handling a piece of paper declaring me dead and a police report detailing my fatal car accident proved to be a more somber affair.


Do you have problems you would like to escape? Rather than fake your own death, the Bible suggest that you go ahead and die ... to self! The call of Christian discipleship came when Jesus said, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). 

Have you died in Christ, or are you putting on an elaborate ruse? Consider the following diagnostic questions:

  1. Rather than facing your core spiritual issues, do you refuse to “go there”?
  2. Do you attend church for what you can get rather than what you can give?
  3. Do you fellowship with believers but avoid being vulnerable or transparent with them?
  4. Do you boast more about what you have done for Christ, than what Christ has done for you? 
  5. Are you one person at church but a different person when no one is watching?
  6. Do you insist that things have to be done your way or it's the highway?  

The conventional wisdom is that church is a place where we pretend everything is great in our life. In order to appear to be spiritual, we hide our problems and struggles from other believers. Rather than, "confess our faults to one another," as James exhorted us to do, we hide behind masks, afraid of what others would think of us if they knew the truth. Instead of dying to pride and pretense, we fake our death!

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). 

Alive from the Dead

Spiritual Growth Dead (to sin) Worldliness

Source: Social Security's Creates 'Walking Dead'

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Charles Schuyler | Date Posted: 2014-07-11

Scripture: Romans 6:11 ; Ephesians 2:1

Author: Rachel Pritchett


Her mouth dropped when the person at the local Social Security office saw Bonnie Ballew of Bremerton standing there, alive as could be.

"Am I supposed to be dead or something?" Ballew, 83, asked the employee.

"As a matter of fact, that's what it is," the employee responded looking at Ballew's paperwork.

That was last year, and Ballew was in the Social Security office on a routine visit when the two discovered she'd been dead since 1997.

Ballew, now at Martha and Mary nursing home in Poulsbo, was one of the lucky ones able to clear up the confusion in months, not years.

But she held off telling a son who was serving abroad in the military that she was dead until he returned home.

"Oh, by the way, do you know that I was dead?" she laughed. "Keep a sense of humor," she advised.

Lydia Claesson, 83, of Bainbridge Island, couldn't agree more.

The government deemed her "dead" twice after her husband passed away in 1994. On one occasion, it removed deposits from her bank account. Claesson packed up her passport, driver's license and birth certificate and made the trip to the Social Security office. There, she and the surprised workers discovered she'd been declared dead instead of her husband.

On another occasion, she tried to pick up a prescription, only to discover her insurance coverage wasn't active.

"I asked them to find out why. Well, they said that 'you're dead,' " Claesson said.

Again, she gathered her paperwork and drove to the Social Security office, then in Bremerton, where she told the Social Security folks, "I'm not my ghost. It's really me," she laughed.


How bad is that?!  Being alive, but being told you are dead! Do you know what is worse? Being alive and yet acting dead! This is what Paul addresses in Rom 6:11, where he wrote, "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

That word "reckon" means to live in the reality - count it so. It is inconvenient to be alive and yet to be recorded as dead by the Social Security Office, but it is downright tragic to be spiritually alive and yet act spiritually dead. Such a thing impacts our effectiveness in this life, and undermines our future reward in the next. You don't need to gather all forms of identification to correct this - you just need to claim your new identity in Christ!

Are you alive? Simply live like it!

Three Men On A Cross

Good Friday Repentance Dead (to sin)

Source: Kent Crockett's Devotionals: "A Tale of Three Crosses," published, April 16, 2014

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-22

Scripture: Luke 24:39 ; Luke 24:41

Author: Kent Crockett


"The Bible mentions three men dying on crosses," says Kent Crocket, "and they all have a story tell":

Cross #1—a thief DYING IN SIN.“And one of the criminals who hanged there was hurling abuse at Him saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save yourself and us” (Luke 24:39). This thief called out to be saved, but he wasn’t sorry for his sins. He wanted to be saved from punishment for his crimes but his heart had not changed. This man died IN his sins. …

Cross #2—a thief DYING TO SIN. The second thief said, “We are receiving what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong…Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 24:41-43). … This thief represents those who see Jesus dying for their sins, have a change of heart and are willing to die to their sinful ways.

Cross #3—a Savior DYING FOR SIN. Jesus went to the cross for one purpose—the die for the sins of the world. Isaiah 53:6 says, “The Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). That means salvation from sin is only found in Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:21 says, “He will save His people from their sins.”

Kent Crockett graduated from Texas A&M University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is the senior pastor of the Church of Living Water in Prattville, Alabama. He is the author of The 911 Handbook, Making Today Count for Eternity, and I Once Was Blind but Now I Squint, and has been published in a number of Christian magazines.


"Both thieves called out to be saved," he says, "but only one was saved. What was the difference? The first thief wasn’t sincere and had no change of heart. If Jesus had set him free, he would have returned to his life of crime. The second thief wanted to be saved from his sins. If Jesus had set him free, he would have turned from his sinful life and would have followed Him. Which one of these thieves represents you?"

""The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15).

Can't Offend A Corpse

Dead (to sin) Jesus, Savior Redemption

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2013-10-29

Scripture: Romans 6:11 ; 1 Peter 2:24

Author: Stephen Kingsley

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"Cautious" Storm Chaser Dies

Sin Dead (to sin) Wisdom

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-06-03

Scripture: John 17:15 ; Romans 12:2

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Live like it

Spiritual Life Dead (to sin) Justification (Positional)

Contributed By: Lynn Schuyler | Date Posted: 2013-02-06

Scripture: Romans 6:12

Author: Jerry Bridges

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Runner's Cause Of Death: Struck By An Airplane

Repentance Justice Death

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2021-02-22

Scripture: Luke 13:3

Author: Neal Pollard

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Jesus Is The High-Water Mark

Love (Uncondtional) Enemies Morality

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2019-11-02

Scripture: Matthew 5:44

Author: Mitchell Dillon

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The Generous Thief

God's Promises Death Resurrection

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2019-05-01

Scripture: John 11:25 ; Job 1:21

Author: Stephen Kingsley

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27 Contacts

Obedience Holy Spirit Vision

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2018-12-28

Scripture: Isaiah 44:18 ; Matthew 13:15

Author: James Miller

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