For thousands of years, humans have sought to find the key to living forever, or the detail of another life after death. Perhaps the greatest monuments to this endeavour are the pyramids of Egypt.
The concept of life after death, depends on two essentials:
1 God is – He is a supernatural spirit, above and beyond the limitations of time and space. He is in control of both the natural realm and the unseen spiritual.
2 We are more than flesh and blood. We are body, soul and spirit. This gives humans the capacity to live in the natural world, but also to interact with the spiritual. This assumes that the higher part of humans can consciously exist outside of the body.
Are these things verifiable? So much in the natural realm shows evidence of a greater, yet unseen creator and sustainer.
History records such an one interacting with people in various ways.
We are occupied very much with things we can see, feel and hear, but like the spirit world, so much of our natural world is invisible. For example the air, the wind, light, water , electricity, radio, magnetism, data etc. As for spiritual existence apart from the body, many thousands of people testify to having died , left their bodies and consciously moved into another consciousness. A chap I worked with was totally convinced by his near death experience. He left his body and moved to another room where he could see and hear. Yet another man I met, had been to hell and back again. Many I have talked to, have had such ‘spiritual’ experiences. I do not build my hopes on these varied experiences, except to say they do testify that we are more than just natural, chemical bodies.
The teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ.
From the beginning of His teaching e.g. Matthew 5, He taught about heaven and the very real possibility that it could hold enjoyment for us there. Rewards and riches would be given in heaven to those who faithfully followed Him. He spoke of heaven as the dwelling place of God the Father. It was the place to which He said He would return.
He taught that things would be different there. People would relate to one another as the angels do. Acquaintance with one another would be spiritual, not physical.
His prayer for His disciples was “that they might be with Him, that they might behold His glory” (John 17) . This was more than the splendour of earth or the anticipated kingdom. This was His glory as exalted at the Father’s right hand.
Just as He taught about heaven, so He taught about hell. He described it as a place of outer darkness, a place of torment where weeping wailing and gnashing of teeth prevailed. He described the horror of being on the outside of a shut door. He spoke of the eternal destruction of the disobedient and the graphic horrors of self gratifying religious leaders. The Old Testament pictured the hopelessness of the grave, but the Lord identified the trauma of hell as a place of torment. Physical words are used to describe spiritual realities.
I recommend you take your Bible and notice, in the teachings of the Son of God, how often He referred to the unseen world, and our connection to it.
Paul put it this way “the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal’ (2 Corinthians 4.18)
If you don’t have a Bible, I may be able to supply one to you free.
The next question to be answered is ‘Who goes to heaven?’ and ‘who goes to hell?’
I hope to answer this in my next post.