Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What happens after death?

Few understand what the Bible really teaches about life beyond the grave. 

Maybe death would be different if it were predictable or consistent. But death can be so capricious. It hardly seems fair.

To us life is precious. But death is everywhere! We don't want to die. We don't want to see our loved ones die.

Scientists cannot tell us what happens after death. Too many aspects of life itself are intangible-too elusive to measure and record. Philosophers disagree on death and the afterlife.

Religions also disagree. Traditional Christian denominations generally teach that the souls of the dead live on in a place or condition of heaven or hell. Many non-Christians believe in the transmigration or reincarnation of souls at death. Still others believe the dead will never live again, that this life is all there is.

What really happens at death? Why do we even have to die? Can we know if there is life beyond the grave? Where can we go for meaningful, believable answers?

All, who have had a life after death experience, witness that they maintained their feeling of self, all of their mental and sensory abilities and their free will. In fact, their vision and hearing became more acute; their thought acquires precision and becomes extremely energetic, the memory clarifies. 

People who had long ago, due to illness or age, lost certain abilities regained them anew. They could see, hear, think and so forth all without the aid of their physical being. It is amazing; for example, that a man blind from birth, upon leaving his body, could see everything that was being done to his body by the doctors and nurses. He later recounted everything he had seen in great detail. Having returned into his body he was again rendered blind. The doctors and psychiatrists who define the functions of thought and emotion as just electrochemical processes of the brain should look into the data gathered by the reanimating doctors in order to correctly understand man’s nature.

Although daily convention shows us that death is the unalterable lot of every man and a law of nature, the Holy Scripture teaches us that initially death was not in God's plan for man. Death was not a rule established by God, but, rather, a parting from God's way and a terrible tragedy. The Book of Genesis tells us that death became part of our nature as a result of the first human beings' transgression of God's Commandment. In accordance with the Bible, the purpose of the Son of God coming into the world was to return to man his forfeited eternal life. This is not referring to the soul's eternal life, which by its being is not subject to ruin, but to the immortality of the whole person, consisting of body and soul. The realization of the unity of soul and body will happen simultaneously for all people at the universal resurrection of the dead.

Both, ancient religious stories as well as doctors’ contemporary research, reiterate the Holy Scripture's teachings that after the death of the body some part of the person (call it what you will; the personality, consciousness, me, or soul) continues to exist, albeit in completely new surroundings. This existence is not passive in nature, because the personality continues to think, feel, want, etc., much as it did during its earthly life. An understanding of this essential truth is absolutely necessary to correctly build one's life.

Only the Creator of life can reveal its purpose and the state of the dead. By looking into the Word of God for answers to our questions about death, we can learn a great deal about both life and death.

What happens after death?

Max Shimba
© 2009 Max Shimba Ministries

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