Living Forever—Is It Just a Dream?
THE scene is a beautiful farm in southern Africa. A flock of guinea fowl is roaming over the hills. Suddenly they panic. Two black eagles sail over and swoop as the guinea fowl, cackling hysterically, scuttle for cover. One of the eagles makes a kill and begins to enjoy a meal. Some guinea fowl calm down and return to searching for food nearby—the death of their companion leaves them indifferent.
All animals instinctively try to avoid death, but they usually seem to be little affected when others die. The slaughter of an antelope by a lion or other predator causes only a mild reaction from the rest of the herd. It is a routine event of the present life-and-death cycle.
How different it is with most humans! To see a fellow human die is a traumatic experience—except to those few who have become hardened to death. Normally, the death of a loved one is one of the most stressful things humans experience. It can even trigger the suicide of the bereaved.
We live in a turbulent age when suicides are increasing and millions of people live miserably. Yet the vast majority do all they can to stave off what the Bible calls a great “enemy,” death.—1 Corinthians 15:26.
The Elixir of Life
For many centuries, men called alchemists tried hard to discover the elixir of life. This was a mysterious substance that was supposed to ensure people’s living forever. For a long time many dreamed of and searched for this elixir. But, obviously, the alchemists failed.
Recently, however, improved hygiene, medical science and other factors have raised life expectancy considerably. According to one report, “for humanity as a whole, life expectancy has more than doubled, from 30 years in 1900 to well into the sixties today.” Some may thus feel that modern scientists may discover the key or keys to extended—even endless—life. Do you?
Whatever people may hope in that regard, a truth stated millenniums ago still applies:
“The days of our years are seventy years; and if because of special mightiness they are eighty years, yet their insistence is on trouble and hurtful things; for it must quickly pass by, and away we fly.”—Psalm 90:10.
As you undoubtedly have observed, only a small minority live beyond the 80’s.
Many elderly people, however, do not resign themselves to an approaching death but take a deep interest in life. In fact, as they grow older their interests may multiply. They accumulate vast knowledge and experience and participate in many activities. Then suddenly they are cut off. To normal, reasonably healthy people, death is unwanted, unnatural. As one centenarian said: “I don’t want to die as I’m in love with life.”
The Bible speaks of animals as being “born naturally to be caught and destroyed.” But concerning mankind it says: “God . . . has even put eternity into their minds.” (2 Peter 2:12; Ecclesiastes 3:10, 11, Byington) In other words, animals were not purposed to live forever, but man was. The first human pair were created not to die but to live eternally—provided they were obedient to God.—Compare Genesis 2:15-17.
The fact is that your brain gives evidence of this. The human brain has a vast capacity for knowledge; only a small part is used in the present lifetime.
Does all of this not indicate that the present life-and-death cycle is not the way God purposed it to be and that living forever is not just a dream? What a thrilling thought! Is there, then, a real elixir of life? Is living forever for you?