Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Is There Life after Death?

Yes! Emphatically, there is life after death for all people. How you will spend your life after death depends upon your relationship with God now. Jesus Christ said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die" (John 11:25-26).

The whole message of Jesus Christ was that He broke the power of sin and death, because death was the consequence of sin. Jesus said, "Because I live, you will live also" (John 14:19). That is hope of the world--the resurrection. The apostle Paul said: "I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ ... That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection ... If, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead" (Philippians 3:8-11).

Not only is there life after death, but God is going to give us new bodies, better than the ones we have now. We are not going to be disembodied spirits. Those who believe in Jesus are going to have bodies just like the resurrection body of Jesus (see 1 Corinthians 15:35-49).

The Bible says that there will be a resurrection of the good and the resurrection of the evil. Some will arise to honor and some to shame (see Daniel 12:2-3, Matthew 25:46, Revelation 20:11-15).

Those who have lived for God are going to have a body such as Jesus has--a glorious, wonderful body--and they will be with Him forever in glory. Those who have not lived for Him will be in a place of torment and punishment. Yes, there is life after death, but the quality of that life depends upon how we spend our days in this "life before life."

Often, the question arises whether a loving God could really send anyone to hell. Remember that God is always calling people to Himself. He sends signs such as the sun, the moon, the seasons, and harvest to show us that His love is there. He also sends out preachers, teachers, and evangelists to warn those who are living contrary to God's will and to encourage such people to come to Him. Remember, too, that for heaven to be heaven, those in heaven should not be forced to live with the fear of a second satanic rebellion and another cycle of pain, suffering, and death. The only way to eliminate that fear is to see that those who absolutely refuse God and who want no part of His kingdom are given their wishes. Such people do not want to be apart of God's kingdom, and so God says, "your will is to be apart from Me and I am going to let you have it the way you want it."

Apart from God, there is everlasting darkness. It is a horrible thing to contemplate, but it is not God's choice to send anyone out into that darkness. Instead, He reluctantly allows people to have what they have shown Him they want. The Bible talks about everlasting fire and eternal darkness when it describes hell (see Matthew 8:12, Matthew 25:41). Whether these are literal descriptions or figures of speech describing the remorse and emotional pain the lost will suffer when they realize that they are separated from God forever, we don't know. We do know that hell is real and forever!

Over the last few years, we have had many cases of people returning to life after being "clinically dead" for short periods. Many of them have seen heaven and some have been allowed to see hell. They have seen a living being whom they presume to be God. They have communicated with Jesus. Some have asked to come back to this life, and He has let them; others have asked to stay, and He has told them that they still have a work to do here in this life. For all of them, the experience has been a life-changing one, and this is a uniform testimony to the existence of life after death. Such experiences, of course, are not proof that there is life after death, but they stand as support to the Bible's statement that life continues beyond the grave.

The Bible is also clear in its teaching that we should not attempt to communicate with the dead. Leviticus 19:31 says: "Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God." Isaiah 8:19 adds this: "And when they say to you, 'Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,' should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?"

When his baby son died, King David said, "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me" (2 Samuel 12:23). When we die we either go to heaven or hell. We will join those loved ones who have gone to heaven or hell. We will join those loved ones who have gone to the same place as we have. Until then, the living are forbidden to attempt contact with the dead. So-called ghosts, or spirits that speak through mediums, are really demons masquerading as the spirits of dead human beings.

If you let them, they will deceive you. They will try to lead you away from God, and--if they can gain a foothold in your life--they will do their very best to take control of you.

Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson. 

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