Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Do We Really Die?

Here is a topic that I think about a lot, and my thoughts seem to be at odds with the vast majority of Christian authors. 
But what's new about that?

Most authors suggest that when people leave this planet (physically die) they remain asleep until a resurrection sometime in the future.
The "goodies" get resurrected to be given Life, and the "baddies" get resurrected to be given death.  (Some resurrection that would be!)

But I find that view inconsistent with the view taught by Jesus and His followers, who say that Jesus came to give us Life right now. 
Do we get that Life and then have it taken from us for the time between when we physically die and some future resurrection? 
That doesn't seem very logical to me either.

I appreciate that several verses can be quoted to support the idea that when our physical bodies cease working and we depart this planet we are dead, real dead, or at least sound asleep, but they are all OT verses, statements made by poets (and others) expressing their understanding at that point.
Here are a couple......

Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
    Who praises you from the grave?  [Psalm 6 :5  NIV]

For the living know that they will die,
    but the dead know nothing;
they have no further reward,
    and even their name is forgotten.
Their love, their hate
    and their jealousy have long since vanished;
never again will they have a part
    in anything that happens under the sun.  [Ecclesiastes 9 : 5 - 6  NIV]

Indeed, without further revelation from Jesus, we would not be in a position to say anything much different. 
The physical evidence screams similar conclusions at us too.

But look at the new information Jesus reveals .....

“I am the resurrection and the life.
The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;
and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. "  [John 11 : 25 - 26  NIV]
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life."  [John 5 : 24  NIV]

John affirms Jesus' words with .....

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.  [1 John 5 : 13  NIV]

Jesus goes even further than promising Life for His followers .....

"But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’
He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” [Luke 20 : 37 - 38  NIV]

I appreciate that the theology of many old hymns sometimes doesn't follow Scripture too well, but I like the Christmas Carol "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," which has this verse .....

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Not too much about death there!
Anyway, what do you think happens to us when we leave this planet?
Would love to hear your thoughts.
Blessings, Barry

No comments:

Post a Comment

All relevant comments are most welcome. However, please express any disagreement you might have without being disagreeable and with grace towards those who might not hold your point of view.