Thursday, August 11, 2011
What Happens After Death?
What happens after death has always posed a mystery to mankind due primarily to the fact that in our mortal bodies, we cannot fully fathom matters of eternal nature. Theologians have debated the question since 30 A. D. But even if this subject is shrouded in mystery gives us no excuse to shy away from trying to explore in depth this momentous question. Modern day preaching for the most part, gives little enlightenment regarding this subject, preferring to address matters of a banal nature.
The scriptures are replete on this subject and to shy away from an honest exposition is dishonesty of the worst sort. Matthew 25:46 sets the stage for the beginning of enlightenment of this most serious question. “These, Jesus said, shall go away into everlasting punishment.” This emphatic statement must be dealt in honest research. Friends, bear with me, first of all, I will not try to explain away something which to the finite mind is hard to comprehend. I will be the first to admit however, that in my finite mind, it is difficult to equate an all-loving God with such seemingly vengeful importation of punishment upon subjects who at best enjoy a lifespan of only seventy years, even if in unbelief.
I hasten to say that it is not the job of the preacher to try to single out who may or may not be excluded or included, whatever the case may be. But it is the responsibility of all who make proclamations to at least speak with clarity and with an expedient clarion call. I learned a long time ago that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. I have never veered to holding that belief, upon which foundation all else either rises or falls of it’s own weight. To prove a point, we do not always need scripture to validate a fact. Inherent in the heart of all humanity there is some degree of this “fear” ingrained in the mind of all men. Why is this true? By nature we all fear death, because of the fact that we are apprehensive of what lies ahead. To attempt to smother that instinct is the first step downward to an inevitable doom. Here is the beginning of the defining difference between believers and non-believers.
We are all created human beings distinct and apart from lower life or else why do we destroy lesser lives. So it is our future which becomes the sole purpose of debate.
Here now is the crucial part of my message. Whatever our future may be, it has to be influenced by our present action. Both scripture and logic validate this fact. In other words, we determine now (in life) what our heaven or hell will be like. Whatever hell may be like, one thing is certain, it will not be a pleasant experience. Aside from physical suffering, just the thought of being in a god-forsaken place, will indeed be hell. We were created as eternal creatures, which means, we will exist somewhere in one form or another. All logic and religions pretty much acquiesce on this point. The desire for eternal life is built into our physic and you cannot escape this phenomenal mystery of mankind.
There are just two types of people in regard to our relationship to God. You are either loyal to Him and His precepts or you are disloyal to these precepts. Disloyalty is how Satan lost his place in Heaven.
After all this discussion which seems to be endless, let me close by saying there is an option which rises above all this endless rhetoric, and that option is the highest peak of God’s many attributes. His benevolent mercy is so simple, so sublime, so free, so available, so universal, that it crosses all barriers of race, religion or regions.
The theories of annihilation and universalism are gaining in popularity thanks to the onslaught of contemporary theology. But let me remind you that scripture and logic do not contradict each other. For as Isaiah said “Come now and let us reason together”. Don’t let the skeptics destroy your faith and that of your off-spring. Apostasy thrives when we fail to defend the faith.
In my next video, I will address the simple aspect of God’s redemptive plan entitled “Blessed Is The Man Who Can Make The Plan Simple”. All these messages are brought to you by way of The J Frank Norris Historical Society. This is the hour of our golden opportunity. My prayer is that God will awaken us before it’s too late … to send a revival in this hour of anxiety.
Thank you my friends and God Bless America!