If a man dies, will he live again?
We do everything we can to avoid the inevitability of death. Work,
recreational pursuits, and relationships are welcomed diversions from the
knowledge we instinctively possess that every passing second moves us
closer to the date of our demise. Although death is all around us, we try to
ignore it and go on. The thought is too terrifying.
But occasionally death strikes so close to home that it pierces the suspension
of disbelief we have created for ourselves. Consider the story of the Old
Testament patriarch Job. Work, wealth, and the worship of God were
integral parts of Job’s world that kept him from thinking too much about
his mortality. However, a freak storm that claimed the lives of all of his ten
children shattered Job’s self-created bubble and motivated him to cry out to
God with the bottom-line question of human existence: “If a man dies, will
he live again?” (Job 14:14). When you think about it, every other question
in life pales in significance to this one.
»» “If my mate dies, will he live again?”
»» “If my child dies, will I see her again?”
»» “What will happen to me after I take my final breath on earth?”
If this life is all that there is, then we should discard the claims of Christianity
and find a new paradigm for living. However, if our life on earth is only a
brief prologue to an eternal existence that is determined by our beliefs and
behavior on this side of the grave, then we would be wise to adopt a different
philosophy for living in the here and now.
Is there life after death? We could point to numerous passages in the Old
and New Testaments as evidence for a post-death existence. But given the
importance of this question, we naturally wonder, “Is there any additional
evidence beyond the Bible for life after death?”
I believe that there are extrabiblical evidences for the existence of life beyond
the grave. Admittedly, some are stronger than others and none is conclusive
on its own, much like circumstantial evidence collected at a crime scene.
Individual pieces of evidence by themselves may not be enough to answer the
question of life after death, but when considered collectively they point in a
definite direction—which, as we will see this week, is the eternal existence
all people have in either heaven or hell.