"Our Savior Jesus Christ has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel," 1 Timothy 1:10.

In moments when we have the courage to think about the sober issues in life, we should remember the interesting fact that belief in life after death or, immortality has been a universal phenomenon in every human society of recorded history.

In the New Testament the term used for immortality is eternal or everlasting life. The teachings of Jesus not only centered around the reality of life after death but describes the means by which the transformation to human immortality will be made. For instance, in the Gospel of John chapter 5, verses 28-29, we read "His astonishing words. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth - those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation."

In these verses we notice three prominent details. First, Jesus said, there will be a specific moment (the hour is coming) when all the human dead come out of their graves (this is the biblical definition of resurrection) wherever they may be and whatever state the body may have deteriorated to.

Secondly, it is quite clear that a person's original body is an essential part of immortality in established Christian teaching. If immortality only included the invisible spirit of man, resurrection would be completely irrelevant to immortality. According to the Lord Jesus, immortality includes the restoration and reviving of the original frame and form of the body. Moreover, though every person who ever died will be resurrected and thus possess immortality, some will be resurrected to life and others resurrected to condemnation or judgment. In other words, immortal life is certain for every human being. The only question is what will be the quality and environment it is experienced in.

These verses are a few among other New Testament Scriptures that boldly and specifically speak about immortality. They do not answer al of our questions. Many will have to remain a mystery until we get there.

Much more is learned, however, in the testimony of the Apostles and many others who were eyewitnesses to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. And, by the way, the evidence for Christ's Resurrection is so overwhelming as to qualify it as an indisputable historical fact. That is why the Gospel Jesus proclaimed and the things He taught have supreme credibility.

Christ's Resurrection proves that immortality is not a psychological human escape mechanism rising out of a fear of death. It is clearly confirmed by Christ's Resurrection. Furthermore, if there is no other basis for the hope of immortality in the whole universe, the Resurrection of Jesus is sufficient to make us all grateful for life notwithstanding its struggles, sorrows, and tears and gives us the hope we need to make life worth living courageously and virtuously.

Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.


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