What Happens After Death?

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Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.   


Of course, those are the familiar (to both believers and unbelievers alike) and very comforting words of King David from Psalm 23, and verse 4. Why?

 

We live in a culture that still exudes the vestiges of its Judeo-Christian foundation that’s slipping away, yet still alive. We also see this familiarity come out of the average world-ling, when he is also able to recognize “Amazing Grace” when it’s sung at the funeral of a profligate sinner. Nevertheless, when push comes to shove, his Bible knowledge is still a bit more polished than his hymnody. In that, he also believes that John 3:16, has to some extent, a warm application to his present life, along with Psalm 23:4 to his afterlife. Yes, somehow and someway, he believes, without any basis from Scripture, that the verse above is for him as well!? However, it’s not and was never intended for him. It only has meaning for God’s sheep, His people, and for them alone (John 10:11-15; 27-29, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand). Beloved, all men, if they are honest, know that they must die one day – so, we read the following words etched upon an unbeliever’s gravestone near ground zero (ca. 1769), Behold and see as you pass by, as you are now so once was I, As I am now you soon will be, prepare for death and follow me. Only Christ’s sheep will be and can be comforted both in this life (John 10:10; cf. Psalm 23:1-4), and especially at their death, by the great Shepherd of the sheep (Hebrews 13:20). But our world still wants to die the death of the righteous (Numbers 23:10), without having to live the life of the righteous (Matthew 5:6)! Instead, the Bible says that the one who rejects Christ in this life, will only experience a paralyzing fear of death (or a fierce denial of it) both in this life and at the hour of his demise, Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery (Hebrews 2:14-15). They are enslaved because they are without God and have no hope, But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope…Therefore encourage one another with these words (1Thessalonians 4:13, 18; cf. Ephesians 2:12). Therefore, we may safely conclude that a hopeless life is a plastic life, a shell of a life. Yet, such hopeless people still fancy themselves that they are having a great time in life, but in reality they are covering up their constant fear of their soon departure from this world, Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief (Proverbs 14:13). So please, for only a moment, consider just a few of the following options an unbeliever has regarding the afterlife, besides “Biblical Christianity: Atheism or Secular Humanism (There is no God) – it’s a big black out; Pantheism or Hinduism (God is all) – reincarnation or absorption into God; Panentheism or Process Theology (God is in all) – There may be some kind of afterlife; Deism or Enlightenment Thinking (God is a distant creator) -- There may be some kind of afterlife; Finite Godism or Arminianism (There is a God but He is limited) – Some kind of afterlife of reward or punishment; Polytheism or World Religions/Today’s Cults (There are many Gods) – Souls go to a place of the dead and may or may not become immortalized; Monotheism or Islam/Judaism/Christendom (There is only one God) – Judgment and either heaven or hell. Note: “Biblical” Christianity is closest to Monotheism …he (God) has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man (Jesus) whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead (Act 17:31). O dear saints of God, death is indeed a horrible thing, so horrible, that even Jesus wept over it when he knew Lazarus would soon be resurrected (John 11:35). But remember, Christian’s have no need to ever fear death (Psalm 23:4)! The Resurrection has conquered the sting of death and the grave for us all (1 Corinthians 15:55)!

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