Is There Life After Death?
TWO questions have perplexed mankind for millenniums: Why do we have to grow old and eventually die? Is there any kind of conscious life after death?
The first has puzzled many people because even modern medical science, with all its impressive discoveries, has not been able to come up with a conclusive or satisfying answer.
The second question has had an abundance of varying answers. Generally, however, answers about whether there is conscious life after death are polarized between those who are positive that this life is not all there is and those who are equally adamant that conscious life ends at death. Most of this latter group tell us that there is no doubt in their minds that man’s brief life span is all that he can expect. Often, any arguments put forward to the contrary meet with a smug, “Well, no one has ever come back to tell us, right?”
As with other controversial questions, there are many who are not yet decided—asserting that they are always open to persuasion one way or the other. But others will answer, perhaps flippantly, “We’ll have to wait and see when the time comes!”
A Long-Standing Question
An early question about life after death was raised some 3,500 years ago by the well-known Oriental Job, who is renowned for his patience in the face of suffering. This is the way that Job posed his question: “Man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more. As water disappears from the sea or a riverbed becomes parched and dry, so man lies down and does not rise . . . If a man dies, will he live again?”—Job 14:10-14, New International Version.
But Job was not alone in his inquiring about life after death. The Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics sets out this enlightening information under the heading “State of the Dead”: “No subject connected with his psychic life has so engrossed the mind of man as that of his condition after death. [Indigenous people] in all regions of the world have generally very clear and vivid conceptions of the spirit-world—its life, its characteristics, its landscapes—and this suggests an intense preoccupation with the subject. The wide-spread fear of the dead points to a very primitive idea that their state was not one in which life had ended. Death had cut off energies; that was obvious enough; but were there not other energies at work, or were not those energies capable of manifestation in subtle, mysterious ways? Whether men at first believed in a spirit, soul, or ghost, separate from the body, or not, there seems every reason to believe that they regarded the dead as still carrying on some kind of existence.”
You may fit into any one of the three categories mentioned above: not sure what happens after death; convinced that there is life of some sort after death; or convinced that this life is all there is. Whatever the case, we invite you to consider carefully the following article. See if you find in it convincing Biblical proof that there is a wonderful prospect of a happy life after death, how it will come about, where, and when.