Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Is There Life After Death?

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
The question is asked in Job 14:14, "If a man die, shall he live again?" That seems to be somewhat of a strange question for a Christian. There are many who profess a belief in life after death. I am one of them. The Bible says in Matthew 22:23-33, "The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine." The Sadducees, the Bible says, did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. The question the Sadducees asked the Lord Jesus was probably one that had perplexed the Pharisees. It is no wonder that that the multitude were astonished for He seemed to know what He was talking about.

The Apostle Paul used his knowledge of the Sadducee's beliefs to his advantage when tried before the Jewish council in Acts 23:6-8.  "But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both." Now if God is a Spirit, (See John 4:24) and the Sadducees did not believe in spirits, then they must have been unbelievers! There are those today who, while it may be for different reasons,  do not believe in an afterlife either. 

The Bible says in Luke 9:28-31, "And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem." This happened at what is commonly referred to as the Mount of Transfiguration. The Bible declares that the Apostles saw the Lord Jesus transfigured before their eyes and they saw Moses and Elias also. These two men, Moses and Elias, were with the Lord Jesus on that mountain. They were not dead men but were very much alive!

In what is commonly referred to as the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, found in Luke 16:19-31, the Bible says that Lazarus "died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried..." I have read that some Bible scholars do not consider this a mere parable but a true event that the Lord Jesus was describing because Lazarus is named. If it was a true event being described, the next verse describes the rich man's situation after his death and burial, "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments..." I won't go through the entire parable but this should be a wake up call to those who either do not believe there is life (existence) after death or who do not take seriously the words of the Lord concerning judgment, to get right with God while they have the opportunity. 

The Apostle Paul said in 1st Corinthians 15:19, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." The surrounding verses of scripture (See 1st Corinthians 15:12-58) the apostle is speaking specifically about the resurrection from the dead. If we have been saved from something, it is for sure that we are being saved to something. If in this life we have given up the pleasures of sin for a season,   and make no mistake there is some temporal pleasure in sin, (See Hebrews 11:24-26), if we have no hope of heaven, we truly become of all men, most miserable. But the day will come in which the dead shall be raised, this corruption shall put on incorruption, etc., and as the Apostle Paul said in 1st Thessalonians 4:15-18, "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

So if you have read this posting thus far, and your hope is in Jesus Christ do not let anyone take away your hope of life after death. If you have never fully trusted in the Lord Jesus I encourage you to repent of your sins today, put your faith in the Lord Jesus to save you. Be obedient to the gospel as outlined in what Apostle Peter told his hearers in Acts 2:38. You too then will know beyond doubt that there is life after death. And you will find that "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (See Colossians 3:1-4)  

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