Humans have pondered this question about life after death from the time death first visited planet earth. The reason of course is that no matter how fast you run you can’t out run death. Like your shadow on the wall it taps you on the shoulder and says, “I’m back?”
I was talking recently to a man who was proclaimed dead for twenty minutes and lived to tell about it. I asked him if in that twenty-minute period he had an out of the body spiritual experience. He scoffed at me. Fact is many others have.
However, what most people believe about the afterlife is based on their religious upbringing. The beliefs run the whole gamut from Allah – Zeus. Buddhists, Hindus and Taoists believe in reincarnation. Muslims believe the soul goes to a place called the Barzakh to await judgment. Jews argue the spirit lives on and goes back to God from which it came. Christians believe that when death comes, the soul awaits final judgment and will be sent to either an eternal heaven or an eternal hell.
But the bigger question facing is right now, on this side of the grave is, Whose Right about what happens to us in the afterlife? Everybody can’t be right because their opinions are as different as light and darkness.
For the Christian the answer is not found in a laboratory or subjective reasoning but in divine revelation, the Bible. After all only God knows what awaits us in the afterlife.
I stake my claim on the Bible because it has the best track record of all other religious books. I have read enough of the others to know that the errors within them are bizarre and fall over the precipice of foolishness. Because I cannot behold to their absurd remarks about this world how can I hold to what they said about the world to come?
When I first came into contact with the Bible I was amazed how Moses who wrote its first five books did not include in any of them the foolishness of Egyptian magic its bizarre medicinal cures and their belief in intellectual matter. All this was taught to Moses from childhood, yet in the first five books of the Bible which he wrote you find none it. Impressive indeed! The Egyptians were overly possessed with death and not life. Those dark, dank, pyramids only proved how wrong their learned priests were when they write about life after death. The pyramids only proved that the Pharaohs left all their wealth behind for others to enjoy (usually grave robbers) as the Bible says every man does.
The pen of Moses and his Ten commandments is far more trustworthy that the pen of Homer and his adulterous gods. The writings of Paul and the other Apostles far exceed the writings of those who lived in their time. They copied down neither the vain philosophies of their time nor its foolish scientific blunders. Modern archaeology has not disproven once but proven a thousand times the historical accuracy of scripture.
Scripture explains the How (“He spoke and…”) and Why of creation (“the glory of God…”) It speaks of creation’s beginning and fall and restoration; of things seen and unseen and yet to come. Its forty authors writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit over a period of 1500 years wrote a world shaking prophetic book about how much God loves the world. Most of them did not know one another, yet miraculously, over this 1500 year period of time their writings dove-tail together like a seamless robe. Some of the authors were shepherds, scholars, soldiers, and kings, They wrote their divine revelations down while trudging through the rugged deserts of Arabia, while meditating under the gold covered dome of the Temple of Jerusalem, while living in exile among the pagan hills of Babylon; nevertheless, none of the local paganism, pantheism, or philosophies colored the pages of their writings.
The nine hundred years of philosophy from Homer to Plotinus give you only a guess for your dying pillow. The beautiful style and prose and revelation of Isaiah alone outshines all them like the sunrise outshines a glow-worm. All those who search to know the future about the afterlife without searching the scriptures search in vain, they search for an Atlantis that was never there and will never come.
Skeptics, Secularists, Scoffers, will always abound. I do not have enough faith in their hope-so, maybe-so, guess-so utopian assumptions that to date have proven as futile as Camelot, as futile as Lenin’s utopia. Life after death is more than an urn on a mantel piece. Every messianic movement has died with its founder, except Christianity, and that is because Christ still lives.
Only he can say, “I am he that lives and was dead and behold I am alive forever more… and that where I am you may be also…”
“You shall seek me and find me when you search for me with your whole heart.”
That’s Something To Think About.
Pastor Robert Bryant