609 East Cumberland,  Cowan, Tennessee  37318     Tel:931-563-3796 

You are here

What Do We Really Know about Life after Death?

You've probably been asked this at one time or another. You've most likely thought about it yourself. So what do we really know? How can we know? In a sense, the language we use to express our knowing depends on who's asking the question. A scientist may talk about brain waves and heart beats. It will all be about looking at things that can be measured and tested. On the other hand, some people are attracted to paranormal things like out-of-body experiences, ghosts, communicating with the dead, and such.

Christians are baptized into the faith that we die with Christ and are raised with Christ, but we don't go poking around into the nether-world to validate the claim. We find the signs of eternal life in everyday life. Like looking into the face of a child. Jesus saw signs of the kingdom of God in the joy of simple discovery - a woman rejoicing because she finds a coin she had lost! Or in meals shared where we include strangers and people who cannot repay us. Or, as with the Samaritan, enemies crossing boundaries to offer friendship. We have all these uncanny stories of Jesus going outside the box to show people how incredibly close our lives come to that realm where God's light sustains life across time.

In a word, eternal life is revealed in the ways God loves us. We do not know this because it seems like a good bet. We know it as we recognize God's acts of love. For us. For others. It's personal. But it's also the church. Life may not be easy, but even despite experiences that cause us to suffer – or especially then - compassion reveals life at its eternal root.

Love is our comfort even if we cannot measure what comes “after”. But more than that, love is just too powerful to be snuffed out by a worn out body, or even a worn out planet. There is too much in this life that is greater than skin and bones. It's not a mystery. We already know this. Relationships built on compassion have a life of their own that transcends the ticking clock. The people we cherish become an article of faith as we release them to the God whom we cherish. The only thing that can take this wisdom away from us is if we yield to broken relationships. That sets our lives apart, and that's where fear comes in. Especially fear of death. That's when we start casting about for something other than compassionate relationship to rescue us from oblivion - like when the first man and woman, having drawn themselves apart from their Creator, became aware of their mortal nakedness, falling for the snake's sales pitch. They tried to cure their new-found fear with a fig leaf.

The spirit of Jesus Christ can pull us out of isolated fear so that we can greet the dawn with our heads held high, embracing the world in the love of God. In life and death we belong to God.

Resource Type: 
News Item: 

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer