Is There Life After Death?
"But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." Matthew 22:31-32 Is there life after death? In context, Jesus was speaking here to the Sadducees, who were another sect of Judaism similar to the Pharisees except that they did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. When Jesus answered them, he proclaimed that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who had been dead for centuries, were ALIVE in heaven, asserting that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - are living, he said. There are some religions that teach "soul sleep," which asserts that when one dies his soul dies too, or "sleeps" until the resurrection. The Word of God soundly refutes this false doctrine. Here are some passages that clearly teach the fact that when one dies, he does NOT cease to exist nor does he go into "soul sleep." The Thief On The Cross When Jesus was dying on the Cross, the criminal who was dying next to him asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his Kingdom. "And Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly I say to you, TODAY you will be with me in Paradise.'" (Luke 23:43) If by that he meant the grave, then of what import is the statement? Being in the grave with him would have been a meaningless promise to that man. Paul's Dilemma "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21) If there's no life after death, this statement is ridiculous. How can dying be gain? vs 23-24: "For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you." Paul clearly desires to depart to be with Christ. To be with Christ certainly doesn’t mean in the grave - that wouldn't be "better." How can lying in a grave be "FAR better?" Why would he so earnestly desire death unless he was looking to being alive with Christ? Absent From The Body "We are confident, yes well pleased, rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." (2nd Corinthians 5:8) When a believer leaves the body, he is present with the Lord. Not in the grave. One is not "present with the Lord” in the grave. No, he's present with the Lord in heaven. The Rich Man And Lazarus Luke chapter 16 verses 19-31 records a conversation between a rich man in hell and Lazarus who was in Paradise, clearly showing them both alive after death. In fact, the man in hell is begging that someone be sent to warn his brothers not to come to this awful place of torment. The answer was that if his brothers don't believe the Word of God then nothing will persuade them. Moses and Elijah In Matthew 17:1-4, Jesus took Peter, James and John up onto a mountain and was transfigured before them. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared and began speaking with Jesus. Peter was so shook up that he asked if he should build a tent for them. Moses and Elijah had been dead for centuries, yet they appeared on that mountain with Jesus. Alive. Friends, when you leave your body you are only changing location. YOU will not die, you will be alive - either in heaven, or in hell. "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me SHALL NEVER DIE." John 11:25-26 Shall NEVER die! Then Jesus asked: "Do you believe this?"