Having such great advancements in science and its innovation to making us live longer- the mortality rate has meant that people seldom see the face of death as their forefathers once did. With the recent pandemic and the increasing number of casualties has now confronted us which the subject of death. Science has proved that it can only use the knowledge of its past-primitive, thus lagging behind – unable to understand that which kills the body (death). Therefore the 21st century “gods of this age” (the scientists) are shown not to being “omniscient”. The afterlife was no joking matter, for the preceding empires of the world for they placed their lifelong ambitions to preparing for the afterlife, such as the buildings of the great pyramids and the many holy sites which can be found around the world. So would it not be comforting to know what happens do the dead? Here are some perspectives:
1.Materialism: Nothing survives; death ends all of me. Seldom held before the eighteenth century, materialism is now a strong minority view in industrialised nations. It is the natural accompaniment of atheism.
2.Paganism: A vague, shadowy semi-self or ghost survives and goes to the place of the dead, the dark, gloomy underworld.
3.Reincarnation: The individual soul survives and is reincarnated into another body.
4.Pantheism: Death changes nothing, for what survives death is the same as what was real before death: only the one, changeless, eternal, perfect, spiritual, divine, all-inclusive Reality, sometimes called by a name (“Brahman”) and some- times not (as in Buddhism).
5.Immortality of the soul: The individual soul survives death, but not the body.
6.Resurrection: At death, the soul separates from the body and is reunited at the end of the world to its new, immortal, resurrected body by a divine miracle. This is the Christian view.
This view, the supernatural resurrection of the body rather than the natural immortality of the soul alone, is the only version of life after death in Scripture. It is dimly prophesied and hoped for in the Old Testament, but clearly revealed in the New Testament.
For in the views of immortality of the soul and the resurrection, the individual soul survives bodily death. What is not composed cannot be decomposed. Whatever is composed of parts can be decomposed into its parts: a molecule into atoms, a cell into molecules, an organ into cells, a body into organs, a person into body and soul. What is not composed of parts cannot be taken apart.
Hence, the soul is not composed of parts. It has no countable, quantifiable parts as the body does. You can cut a body in half but not a soul; you can have half a soul. Therefore the soul is not decomposable.
There are only two ways of being destroyed: by being decomposed into parts, as the body is, or by being annihilated as a whole. But we know of nothing that is ever annihilated as a whole. Nothing simply pops out of existence. If the soul dies neither in parts (by decomposition) nor as a whole (by annihilation), then the soul does not die.
“There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both the of the just and unjust.”—Acts 24:15
If there is a power of the soul that cannot come from the body, this indicates that the soul is not a part or a function of the body. That, in turn, indicates that it is not subject to the laws of the body, including mortality.
The Resurrection of Christ from the dead, is the fundamental of all fundamentals in Christianity. Upon the truth and evidence of this depend the truth and evidence of all our religion: for, if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain, saith the Apostle, and ye are yet in your sins: 1 Cor. 15:17.
“Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
Christ is coming, and he will find some alive on the earth, and those who are alive will not die. Paul was so full of the Second Coming, that he says: “We shall not all sleep.” He did not know but what Christ might come while he was writing the letter. And we are so earnestly looking for Christ, that we too are constrained to say, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written,
Death is swallowed up in victory
“O death, where is thy sting?
O grave, where is thy victory?
“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
“But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We should yet be in our sins, because the propitiatory sacrifice, which he offered upon the cross, would have been of no avail to the acquitting of us from our guilt, had not Christ risen again from the dead, to apply unto us, by his Spirit, the virtue of that oblation, for our righteousness and justification.
So that the whole weight and moment of Christian Religion depends upon the Resurrection of Christ from the dead, as its only basis and support. All those mysterious truths, which either he himself taught his Church in his own person or inspired his Apostles to deliver to the Church in his name, are therefore to be received, therefore to be believed, because they are clearly attested to us by innumerable miracles wrought by him, and by virtue of his name and faith in it. For God, who is Truth itself, will never set the seal of his omnipotence to a lie. And the most miraculous of all those miracles, that were wrought by God, is his raising himself from the dead. So that, how abstruse soever the doctrines themselves seem to be, how unaccountable soever to the disquisition, how incomprehensible soever to the sphere and extent of our reason; yet we have still the same certain grounds to believe the most mysterious articles of our faith, as we have to believe, that he, who taught them, rose again from the dead.
Categories: Church Life, Theology
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