With all the movies, TV shows and books available today on the subject today, if you are not thoroughly convinced of 'life after death', then something may be right!
The traditional concept of 'life after death', while usually fairly pleasant to think about, is no more than mere speculation! Wouldn't that be awesome, especially for those with physical disabilities, not to mention mental ones, if, after this earthly experience, there was an other-worldly one, without the pain and suffering? I mean, think about it; no broken or missing limb ( 'no canes or walkers, either' ), no bad things happening to good people, and so on and so forth!
Sounds like a utopian dream! Much better than the dystopian nightmare we're living in right now, right?!
Well, 'Dream away', but while you're dreaming, make sure you don't dream your Life away!
You've no doubt heard, read and watched articles like '90 Minutes in Heaven', with people talking about their own or others near-death experiences and 'heavenly' previews, and shows or movies like 'Medium' ( who can forget 'Highway to Heaven'? ) and the recent 'The Lovely Bones'. All very interesting and fun to think about ( well................), but it's really all just vain speculation. People may tell you of their own, or loved ones experiences ( or experiences with their loved ones-that's pretty popular right now! ), and be totally convinced that what they felt saw or heard is very real. They may even convince you, and you may even have visions or some other sort of 'super-natural' experience! I'm not saying it's not possible, or even outside the realm of possibility! In fact, the more of this stuff that I hear and see, the more I'm beginning to believe that 'they' may be right! I DO believe in 'The Communion of the Saints' ( dead & living ) after all!
So, aside from the little bit of nothing that we can gather from Scripture on the subject; what DOES happen to us when our biological bodies expire? Ecclesiastes 12:7 says that 'Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.' Seems pretty 'cut & dried', right? After our physical body ceases to function and becomes worm-food, our spirit returns to God! Is it really that simple, or is this statement, like so many others in Scripture, an eschatological construct? Are we not with God at present? Paul wrote to the Church in Thessalonika that 'Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.' ( I Thessalonians 4:17 ) I quote John 11:26 a lot, but if we are now His Dwelling Place, where DO we go when our biological bodies cease to function?
It's nice to think that one fine day, we will see our loved ones again in some perfect and heavenly Paradise, but there is, sad to say, no Scriptural warrant for it! Again, watching 'the Lovely Bones' last night, I got to thinking about the probability of that kind of scenario ( except maybe the bit at the last about the 'possession' ), but this again, can only be speculated about, although it may be good speculation, and even biblically based ( 'Logical Conclusions', remember? ).
The 'after-life', which we've reasoned about before from Scripture, is our present Life in the Kingdom of our Father! It is Life of the New Covenant which God Himself revealed to His people in the form of His Son, Jesus, who was the Christ ( the Anointed One ) Not to rehash too much of what I've presented before, but the apostle John wrote that 'Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life' ( John 5:24 ), and later, in a letter to his 'children', 'We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death' ( I John 3:24 ). These, by the way, though being eschatological statements, or applicable today, though maybe not to the same extent that they were then. According to these statements, especially within the context of fulfillment, we can see that we are alive forevermore, and living in this Life after Death which was promised to those who love Him!
One comment I received in preparation for this post was that it's better to focus on life before death than on life after death. I agree! We should focus on living life in the here & now for the glory of God and the good of His people, His Kingdom! Should we spare ANY thought, or engage in vain speculation about some sort of 'after-life'? Well, if we aren't living right in the here & now, we might worry about an 'after-life', but if we are living in right relationship with our Father and His Family right now, there is no need to worry about an 'after-life'; THIS IS IT!
'I hope you dance'!
Charles Haddon Shank