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The Bible says in Luke 21:34-35: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.”
PROPHECY BOOTCAMP: “Where the Dead Are Now (Part 1)” from Dr. Tim LaHaye
The most traumatic event in my life was my father’s death; he died three weeks before my tenth birthday. Until a person has gone through the tragedy of the loss of a dear loved one, he rarely thinks about death. We tend to assume that life goes on forever, but the death of a loved one destroys those illusions and raises questions that we may have never before contemplated.
In my case, the first question I asked my mother was, “Where is Dad now?” That is probably the most commonly asked question under those circumstances, and not only by children. Everyone is curious about life in the afterlife. As far back as we can go in history, man has asked Job’s classic question: “If a man dies, shall he live again?” Life is so precious to human beings that the desire to live on in some future state is almost universal. Library shelves are filled with books on the subject, and practically every religion known to man offers some kind of teaching on the subject.
Looking back, I detect something interesting about my childhood reaction to my father’s death that is common to many people. At no time did I consider the possibility that he had ceased to exist, for my question indicated my assurance that he, the real person, was still alive somewhere. I just didn’t know where. Fortunately for me (and certainly my father), my parents had become Christians six years before he died. As I discovered later, that was the most important decision he ever made, for it determined where he spent his afterlife.
Due to my boyhood experience with my father’s death, I have studied the subject in great detail. My library is stocked with collections of books and articles on the subject from all over the world. And it is my opinion that no one will be accurately informed on death until he studies the Bible’s teaching and interprets all other writings in the light of it.
The Bible is a book of life, not of death. Yet like any book of history, it has to include the fact that men and women die. But the Bible also points out that humans, while alive on earth, can make arrangements to enjoy eternal life in the next world. Although the Bible focuses extensively upon eternal and physical life, it also treats the subject of death many times. The 66 books of the Bible have much to say about death and the future life, since God meant for man to know the truth. He knew that ignorance would arouse some of man’s greatest fears. Yet when an individual knows God personally and is aware of what Scripture teaches about the afterlife, he is not afraid of death.
To get a comprehensive picture of what God says about death, we must turn to several books of the Bible and consider various references in the light of others, thereby building a composite description. If you are fascinated by the subject of life in the afterlife, you will find our study most rewarding.
OCCUPY TILL I COME: “Waiting on the Second Coming — Whatever Became of Integrity (Part 9)” by Ray C. Stedman
MUSICAL SELECTION: “The King is Coming” by Newsboys