Pastor Ron E. Thompson: Is There Life After Death?
Some time ago I read an article that said when John F. Kennedy went into the White House, he was worth forty million dollars. Later, his father gave each of his children ten million dollars. But fifty million dollars was not enough to stop an assassin’s bullet. The Bible says people are destined to die once and then face judgment (Heb. 9:27 CEB). Pastor W. A. Criswell reminds us that many of the great monuments in this world are dedicated to death, whether it is Westminster Chapel in London, St. Peter’s in Rome, or the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials in Washington DC. The question I want to pose is the same as Job of old asked after the deaths of his ten children: “If a person dies, will he go on living?” (Job 14:14 GW). Whenever we hear the fire alarm, the siren of an ambulance, view a hospital, or visit a cemetery, this question haunts us. Numerous are the occasions when we either consciously or unconsciously ask ourselves: “If people die, will they live again? What is the answer to this question?
- Science Says No: Science can teach us countless truths. They can tell us that the six elements in our bodies are worth about $600 chemically. Scientists have come up with a way to reverse cardiac arrest. Stem cell medicine research may soon provide an alternative to heart transplants.Researchers have successfully transplanted human brain cells into baby rats. Antibiotics have saved countless lives who otherwise would not have survived in past generations. DNA technology has been a welcome assistant in criminal investigations. There is still interest and much talk today about the future with the hope that someday nearly every part of the human body may be transplanted. Some are still freezing bodies of their deceased loved ones anticipating that in the future some way will be found to bring them back from the dead. But despite science’s amazing achievements, the answer to Job’s question is “no.” The funeral home says “no,” the open grave says “no,” and the cemetery says “no.”
- History Says No. When people die, will they live again? Where are the Philistines? Where are the Canaanites? Where is Julius Caesar? Where is Napoleon? Where is George Washington, first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen? Where is Abraham Lincoln? Where is gentleman Robert E. Lee? Where is Franklin Roosevelt? Here was a wealthy man who was stricken with polio. But he went on to become president of this country. Where is he now? He is dead. Napoleon is dead. Lincoln is dead. The history of humankind has been the story of death from Adam until now. The Bible reaffirms this in Romans 5:14 where it says that death reigned from Adam to Moses. We enjoy reading about the lives of great people in history. We can view family videos or watch them on television. But they are not alive, and history cannot bring them back alive. They are dead, so history must also answer “no.”
- God Says Yes! The Word of God says so. Job makes it clear when he addresses God: “You would call and I would come, and you would reward all I do” (Job 14:15 TLB). In Job 19:23-27, he wishes that his life and words were recorded so that everyone would know that he had not sinned. He was confident that after he died, he would see his Redeemer resurrected alive! To this we add the words of Jesus who said He was the resurrection and the life, and anyone who believed in Him would have life even if he dies. And anyone who lived and believed in Him would never die (John 11:25-26 ICB).
Jesus’ ministry testifies to this. A father came to Him on behalf of his sick daughter, but when they reached her, she had already died. Jesus said to her, “Little girl, arise” (Mark 5:21-43 KJV). Would you not like to have been there to see her get up and be freed from death’s grip? Jesus once stopped a funeral possession and spoke to a widow’s dead son saying, “Young man, I say unto you arise” (Luke 7:11-17 AMP). Death had to let him go. Remember Lazarus who was sick, but when Jesus arrived at his house, he had already died and been buried for four days. His sister, Martha, took Jesus to the grave. At His command, the stone was rolled away, and Lazarus came forth from the tomb (John 11:1-43 GW).
Jesus’ resurrection is proof. I Cor 15:20-25 states that Christ was resurrected which proves that the dead in Him will also be resurrected. Death resulted from what Adam did, but resurrection occurs because of what Jesus did. We all die in Adam and those in Christ will all be resurrected. Dear friend, you will live again somewhere, either in Heaven or Hell. Jesus died and rose again to prepare a place for all who will trust Him as Lord and Savior. My prayer is that God will give you the grace to say yes to Jesus now and live again in Heaven along with other precious saints. What a magnificent gift awaits you this Easter!