Life After Death

It is truly important to consider, and if possible, to know, what happens
to us after we die. Some, who believe we are just accidental physical systems
in an ultimately meaningless universe would have us believe that we have
no existence after we die. Our personhood is finished as we become dead,
rotting meat. This view generally equates mind with brain, and denies the
existence of the spiritual world. In this view, your brain activity is
just a product of physical laws. “Your” decisions are outcomes of the laws
of physics. Don’t congratulate yourself if you have this view. If you are
right, you only have this view because of the way certain particles just
happen to react with each other.

Two main theories are proposed in the modern world as alternatives to
this view. One is reincarnation – the other is spiritual existence and
eventual resurrection. There are also those who believe in physical resurrection
but do not believe that human beings have a spirit that can exist apart
from their body. I have written a few remarks on this view here.

An interesting note: A great book to read on this subject is by Dr Maurice
Rawlings, and is called “To Hell and Back”. He is a heart surgeon who resuscitated
a number of clinically dead people whose experiences were … interesting.
He discusses a lot of interesting things related to Near Death Experiences
(NDEs) in that book.

Rawlings noted that a lot of people had hellish NDEs. Actually these
people were clinically dead, not just “nearly dead”. Secular psychologists
have tried to downplay the importance of these hellish NDEs and instead
like to focus on the NDEs which are all sweetness and light. I personally
think that an NDE which teaches that the “Supreme Being” accepts all people
without judgment is just a lie from Satan. Its a clear contradiction of
the teaching of Scripture for a start. Maybe you do not believe in the
existence of Satan or hell, but Jesus Christ taught something very different.
I mistrust spirits which teach a different doctrine to what Jesus taught.
Jesus was in a better position to tell us the truth than people are today.
Christians are exhorted by God to test the spirits, to see if they are
from God. Not every spiritual experience is true. Some of them can be the
“good” side of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” – which is still
as deadly and poisonous as anything else the devil offers.

Do the
Dead ever rise?

We will leave aside for the moment the many reports of people being
raised from the dead in Christ’s name. I believe that this can and does
happen, but you’d probably have to actually meet people who saw it or to
whom it happened, as I have, before you would consider the possibility
of such a thing. Let us go instead to the matter of Christ’s resurrection.

The evidence for the physical resurrection of Christ is far more powerful
than most people realise. The
link
above outlines just a few of the basic arguments that help us
see this.

Christians claim that Jesus Christ not only died for our sins, but also
rose physically from death as proof that God had truly accepted His sacrifice.
According to the Christian teaching, we too will all rise from death one
day. Some to everlasting life, and others to everlasting shame and contempt.
(Daniel 12:2).

If there is good historical and testimonial evidence for the resurrection
of Christ, then we have powerful reasons for accepting it over the popular
theories of reincarnation. It also provides evidence of the possibility
that we too will rise from death at the end of the age.

Reincarnation

Reincarnation appeals to us because it offers another chance. It is often
associated with the so-called “law of karma”. That law basically teaches
that what you experience in this life – whether good or evil – is a result
of the good or bad deeds in a previous life.

There are many contradictory versions of reincarnation. Some say we
come back as animals, or used to be animals. Others ignore that aspect
of traditional Hindu teaching and lead people to believe we go from one
human incarnation to the next. But there was a time when human beings,
even life itself, did not exist on the planet! So where did we all come
from then? And how does an animal or a micro-organism for that matter earn
“good karma” so that it can come back as something more advanced in the
“next life”? There are a lot of unanswered questions here. Perhaps someone
well-versed in Hinduism can give me the teaching on some of these issues.

I encourage you to read my article above on this subject by following
the link.

Michael

A note on the Issue of the Immortality of the Soul (more correctly, of
the spirit).

The Bible declares however that we are spirit, soul and body (1 Thessalonians
5:23) and that, for a Christian, to be absent from the body is to be present
with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8. In Philippians 1:23 Paul says he had a desire
to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. He did not say that he had
a desire to die and be non-existent until the resurrection. He had a desire
to be with Christ, not to lose time. This Scriptural information harmonizes
with hundreds of testimonies from Christians of being outside their body or
seeing paradise. It may not fit with the words of Ecclesiastes “The dead know
nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5), but then again, Ecclesiastes was written only from
the perspective of what may be known “under the sun”. The rest of the verse
says, "and they [the dead] have no more reward" (which denies the
doctrine of eternal rewards for God’s people). Try building your doctrines on
that! Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon in his later years as a backslider,
and like the Book of Job, contains the sayings of men with less than perfect
knowledge. Ecclesiastes also says that “All is vanity” and “Money is the answer
for everything” – things which are only true when you take God out of the picture.
I’d prefer to give the teachings of Paul priority when forming my theology,
actually.

What do YOU think?

comments

About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

Comments

  1. I would agree more with Pat green. As a parent I find it very hard to comprehend how a God so loving can watch his children ‘BURN FOREVER”, I, HUMAN AS i AM WOULD NEVER BEAR TO WATCH MY KIDS BURN FOREVER. God is a loving God and his plans are to prosper us and not to harm us. So it only makes sense that all non believers will be thrown into a lake of fire and disappear forever.

  2. Mesquite101 says:

    To all this site is full of knowledge and is a great asset to Gods kingdom. I myself have fell into the hands of the enemy dwelling in the wrongs kinds of music and not making God the center of my life. From this day forth I will seek the face of the lord with all might and care not of the tribulations I may encounter for he is my strength and refuge. Thank you Michel for this site and may God continue your strength in the lord.

  3. Lagat Cleophas says:

    I read your article and i thought it is very nice. Very brief but very comprehensive. God bless you.

  4. ThePath says:

    Hello Michael, I’d just like to spread a bit of knowledge if I may regarding to some of the things you wrote about. For starters “Maybe you do not believe in the existence of Satan or hell, but Jesus Christ taught something very different.” While I and any other true believer of God does believe in Satan, the belief in Hell is another story. Just real quick I’d like to ask if your aware that Hell is not a Hebrew or Greek word so therefore whenever the word Hell is used in the Bible it is referring to a different word (Sheol, Hades, Gehenna) combine the three together and at best you get something along the line of “a fiery and painful death” but no where in any of the definitions can you get “eternal agony”. So whenever Hell was used it was referring to either Sheol(Hebrew word for death), Hades(Greek translation of Sheol) or Gehenna (The Valley of Hinnom outside of Jerusalem where bodies where thrown into a fire, etc.). Also I might ad that if you read I John 4:8 then you are left asking how could God who IS love allow people to be tortured for all eternity?

    In regards to life after death, remember that Jesus himself describes death as sleep in John 11:11-14 and many other examples are given in the OT; Deuteronomy 31:16; Job 7:21; Job 14:12; Jeremiah 51:39; Daniel 12:2. So when we die we shall sleep (not be tormented for there is no reason to be resurrected if we are already being tormented for eternity) and upon Jesus’ return, we shall all be woken from our slumber at either the 1st or 2nd resurrection according to how we lived prior to death. That said I hope you will give it a second thought and look into this more if your looking to follow after Jesus.

    • “combine the three together and at best you get something along the line of “a fiery and painful death” but no where in any of the definitions can you get “eternal agony”” (your words)

      Sure, maybe when you combine all three together you don’t get eternal agony but lets add some more context into the picture:

      Mathew 25:46 “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

      Isaiah 33:14 “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”

      2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 “and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; ”

      Jude 1:7 “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

      Revelation 14:10-11 “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

      Revelation 20:14 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

      2 Thessalonians 1: 8-10 “dealing out retribution to those who ado not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified 1in His 2saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. ”

      Revelation 14:11 “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

      2 Thessalonians 9:11 “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power”

      If these aren’t enough for you just let me know and I’ll get you some more.

      “how could God who IS love allow people to be tortured for all eternity?” (your words)

      God is just. Romans 2:11 “For there is not partiality with God”
      God has provided us with a way of salvation. He clearly lays it out for us and we don’t even deserve his grace! He sent his only son, i don’t know if you have kids but that’s a big deal, to die for us!

      John 3:16 “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him”

      2 Corinthians 5:14,15 “For the love of Christ controls us, since we have concluded this, that Christ died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised.”

      2 Timothy 2:6, 4:10 “2:6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time. 4:10 In fact this is why we work hard and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of believers.”

      Another thing, do you really think we have the authority to decide that God is a mean unjust God? God is so much bigger then us that we can’t possibly understand his reasons! But someday we will whether it’s in heaven or hell, the decision is your choice. Picture it like this. Say I’m a programmer and I decide to make a video game. Now I can add all the characters I want and I can take away the characters I want. I can change the path of the game, I control it. You might say that this video game isn’t a fair comparison between God and human life. That the game is way too trivial compared to us and God. On the contrary, God is so big that we are in fact just like a video game to him! When we play and program a video game we can choose not to play it for months at a time, we can choose to go certain paths we can choose who will be in it and who we decide one day we just don’t like anymore. We should be in awe at the time God spends on us! He doesn’t get bored of us and choose to do something else for awhile. He’s always there! He loves us so much that he doesn’t just decide what he likes and it will happen. He lets us live out our lives. We have a choice in what we do, a choice to accept Him! What kind of God would he be if he just controlled our every move, if he decided one day I don’t like you anymore, you’re too much trouble for me. No! God loves us so much that he gives a choice!

      I hope this helps.

      • Everlasting punishment is a punishment that lasts forever. Meaning once you are destroyed, there is no turning back.
        2 Thes.1:8,9 (One scripture you quoted) says that unbelieveres get everlasting destruction. Destruction means to be destroyed.

        DESTROY
        verb (used with object)
        1. to reduce (an object) to useless fragments, a useless form, or remains, as by rending, burning, or dissolving; injure beyond repair or renewal; demolish; ruin; annihilate.
        2. to put an end to; extinguish.
        3. to kill; slay.
        4. to render ineffective or useless; nullify; neutralize; invalidate.
        5. to defeat completely.

        PERISH  /ˈpɛrɪʃ/

        –verb (used without object)
        1. to die or be destroyed through violence, privation, etc.: to perish in an earthquake.
        2. to pass away or disappear.
        3. to suffer destruction or ruin:
        4. to suffer spiritual death:
        Look up these scriptures. They all refer to what happens to the unbeliever after he dies physically.

        Matthew 10:28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

        Notice that BOTH body and soul are destroyed in hell.

        The famous John 3:16 clealy states what happens to the unbelievers. Read it carefully this time. (one goes to everlasting life, the other perishes).To Perish means to exist no more.
        All of these scripture verses teach that you sre destroyed if you don’t believe in Jesus as your Savior:

        Romans 9:22, Gal. 6:8, 2 Thes. 2:10, 2 Thes. 1:9, Heb. 1:11, Heb. 10:27, Heb. 10:39, 2 Peter 2:6, 2 Peter 2:12, 2Peter 3:7,9,10, Psalm 1:6, Psalms 37:20, 37:38, 37:36, 49:12, 49:20, 68:2, 73:27, 83:17, 92:7, 97:3, 94:23, 104:35, Proverbs 1:32, 11:10, 19:9, 21:28, 28:28 Malachi 4:1, I have many, many others, that speak of unbelievers perishing and being destroyed.

        After the unbeliever dies, he rests in hades until the resurrection. At that time he dies a second death by being thrown into a fire where he is destroyed completely. Burned to ashes and is no more. He or she forever dies. The believer, on the other hand, is raised to everlasting life at the resurrection and forever lives!

        I will now take all of the scriptures that you used to justify that unbelievers are tortured forever and explain the error.

        Mathew 25:46 “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
        This simply means that unbelievers will have a punishment that will last forever. Once they are destroyed, there is no returning to life again. They are dead forever. It’s over. It’s forever. But the believers will have life for all eternity.

        Isaiah 33:14 “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
        The fire may last, but the people put in it are destroyed. Burnt to ashes.

        Jude 1:7 “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

        (“In like manner”) What happened to them? They were destroyed. They perished in the fire. They were killed and forever are gone. They are not still being tortured in that fire from long ago. This is what will happen to the unbeliever. He will be be dead forever, not tortured forever. Just like those in Sodom.

        Revelation 14:10-11 “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

        Revelations is a book of imagry and can not be taken literally. Can you really drink god’s wrath? Can wine literally, really be poured out into a cup of God’s indignation? Revelations is the only book where you find a scripture or two speaking of torment or torture for the unbeliever. (unless you read the PARABLE of Lazarus and the rich man in the gospels, and that is a parable story and can not be taken literally either.) All the other hundreds of scriptures speak of destruction and perishing and death for the unbeliever. The same goes for Rev.14:11 (imagry)

        Revelation 20:14 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

        Yes, he was cast into the fire. And destroyed forever. This verse does not speak of eternal torture.

        2 Thessalonians 9:11 “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power”

        This verse speaks for itself. They are destroyed, never to be in God’s presence ever again.

        It is hard for some to believe that what they were taught about Hell from their sunday school teachers is not true. They were taught that they would burn forver and suffer for all eternity if they did not ask jesus to be their Savior. The truth is, they will suffer in a fire. They will burn and be destroyed. But then, it’s over. (As if that isn’t bad enough!!!) Just prior to their being cast into that fire, they will have an opportunity to stand before God and answer to Him for all that they have done as well as bow their knee to him and confess that he is Lord of all. They will then contemplate their fate and await their destruction. Ever been on death row? Unbelievers have much to lose. Their very lives! Ask anyone. What would you choose? To be able to live forever or Death from a burning fire? They would choose life. God does not have to torture people for all eternity as a consequence for their unbelief. Nor does he. They will just not exist any longer. THIS is the doings of a just and fair and loving God., and the scripture teaches it as truth!

        Psalm 37: 35I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
        flourishing like a green tree in its native soil,
        36 but he soon passed away and was no more; (WAS NO MORE)
        though I looked for him, he could not be found.

        “Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them.

        (NOTHING will be left of them!)

        But may sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more. Praise the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD. Psalm 104:35

        They VANISH and ARE NO MORE!!!

  5. Jesus saved my life i love him

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