Life After Life
A member here received the following and asked how to respond to it.
think the only reason people get interested in religion is because they fear
punishment when they die. But as far as I’m concerned death is the end, and we
don’t need to worry about life after death, because it doesn’t exist.”
With no other information about the author of this statement there are 2 possibilities about their position.
Humanist – The humanist will reject any belief in God, Jesus, the Bible, and eternity. The humanist believes that man is the highest being and this life is the extent of human activity. They do not believe in God or any spiritual matters (resurrection, eternity, heaven, hell, immortal soul, etc.)
Spiritualist – This would be a person who believes in God, Jesus, and the Bible, but rejects the idea of a bodily resurrection or any notion of heaven or hell. There were some in the church at Corinth. They were Christians. They would meet every Sunday and partake of communion remembering the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. However, they rejected the teaching of human resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:12)
This study will focus on the issue of life after this life ends. Does man have an immortal soul? Is there any reason to believe in a bodily resurrection? Is it realistic to believe in eternal life?
DO WE EXIST FOR ETERNITY?
There are some things that cannot be proved by scientific methods.
Neither can they be disproved.
A universal negative is impossible to prove.
There is no life on other planets.
There is no God.
Both sides must involve some faith in their statements.
Argument: “Nothing lives after death.”
The argument is that life is like a burning candle. When it burns to the bottom, the candle is gone, the flame goes out and that is the end. Period.
A person paralyzed by a stroke or has ALS cannot express their thoughts, but that still have a mind. They can think, reason, feel, and react. They just lack the ability to express their ideas.
A speaker at a microphone in a large sports arena – remove the microphone – The person is still a speaker, even though no one in the area can hear him. Our body is the soul’s microphone. When this body stops working (dies), we still exist. We just loose our ability to express our thoughts.
Our body is the womb of the soul. When death comes, it is not the end of the soul, it the birth of the soul. The soul emerges from the womb.
Even the illustration of the candle is not accurate. The light does not go out. It goes up. Light keeps on traveling up into space “at the speed of light.” The light goes out like a child “goes out” to play. The light is liberated.
It would be difficult to believe that life is good if we knew that there was noting beyond the grave to help compensate for the problems and troubles of life. Life is full of inequality and unfairness.
If nothing exists to offset the suffering we experience in this life, we would have reason to curse the day of our birth. (Job 3:1-3)
Ecclesiastes 4:1-3 – If this life is all there is, they we are better off dead than alive.
Life is a dichotomy. Life and death; summer and winter; ugly and beauty; good and evil.
Dark nights and cold winters come with the awareness that “this too shall pass.”
If there is noting beyond the grave, the pattern of nature is incomplete.
There is no clinical evidence for NDE and OBE (out of body experiences).
However, there is a large (and growing) body of evidence that shows that as people sense the approach of death, they experience something beyond.
The descriptions vary. But the sense that death is not an end, but a new beginning is common to all who have claimed NDE.
The human heart hungers for more than this life.
We have an inescapable longing for something this world cannot satisfy.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 - He has made everything beautiful in His time; also He has set eternity in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end. (MKJV)
Solomon tried philosophy, music, sexual relationships, work, alcohol, and laughter. None of these things could satisfy his longings.
Only when he returned to his confidence in the judgment and an afterlife could he find something to satisfy his longings. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
Some still argue that we cannot know if there is life after death.
But belief in immortality is a timeless phenomenon.
Egyptian pyramids – Placed in the tombs all things they would need in the next life.
American Indians – looked for a happy hunting ground.
Hindus – transmigration of the soul (come back as a cow)
New Age Movement - reincarnation
All other cultures and civilizations expressed some form of after life.
Psalm 90:1 – God is from everlasting to everlasting
John 14:1-3 – I will come again, take you to be with me
John 10:10 – I have come to give abundant life
John 17:3 – Eternal life is to know the Father
God offered eternal life – Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:22-24)
God began to unfold a plan to offer eternal life to all who obey Him. (Hebrews 5:8-9)
Some have suggested that immortality is a New Testament concept.
Read Daniel 12:1-3
John 5:28-29 – is a NT parallel passage
Luke 23:43 – Today you will be with me in Paradise
John 14:1-3 – I will come again
Psalm 16:9-10 (Acts 2:25-31)
1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Faith in life after this life is over is a source of spiritual betterment, optimism, hope, security, and comfort
1 Corinthians 15:19
1 John 3:2
Jim Elliot, was killed in 1956 by the Auca Indians. “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep.”
To those who reject the idea of a life after death: Was there anything BEFORE life?
If something (or someone) existed before there was life on earth, there can be life after this earth.
Jesus was a real person. History confirms.
Jesus was a great teacher, prophet, and moral example.
He taught that man has a soul, there will be a resurrection, and there is eternal life.
Abraham Maslow – psychologist – developed a pyramid of man’s needs in life.
Physiological – food, air, water, rest
Safety – protection from weather, enemy, wild animals, etc.
Belonging – love, companionship, friends, sense of belonging
Esteem – respect from others, self-worth, feeling of value
Self-actualization – high purpose, goals, value to world, lasting impact
It is a well documented fact that people under extreme stress (a POW, hostage, kidnap victim, Jews in the holocaust) will survive much better, maintain a healthy attitude, recover more quickly – IF they have a strong faith in eternal life.
Physicians agree with hospital chaplains – Those with greater faith in life after death – heal more quickly, have a better attitude toward their illness, and are easer for nurses and others to deal with.
No afterlife – self-seeking, “eat, drink and be merry” attitude, egotists, out for what they can get
Afterlife – loving, caring, willing to help others
1 Corinthians 15:36
“We operated a greenhouse and nursery for some years and became well acquainted with the fact that “it is not made to live except it die.” What we call “ripening” is really dying in fruit, wheat, etc. Some things even have to have the seeds frozen for a length of time before they will germinate and produce new life. Other seeds have to be “scarfed” pass through a bird or an animal before they will germinate. Indeed, “except it die” it will not produce fruit, moreover “except it die” it will not germinate to produce life in the next season. It there life after death? Every farmer that produces “seed corn” (etc.) dries it, buries (plants) it and looks forward to a new crop believes there is “life after death.” D. Norman Easter in an email.
I hope that this study has shown some logical and reasonable arguments for my faith in life after this life ends.
I would repeat a statement from the last point above.
“Every farmer that produces “seed corn” (etc.)
dries it, buries (plants) it
and looks forward to a new crop
believes there is “life after death.”