After Death - © 1997 1999 2001 2003 2004 United Church of...

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Unformatted text preview: © 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004 United Church of God, an International Association All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A. Scriptures in this booklet are quoted from the New King James Version (© 1988 Thomas Nelson, Inc., publishers) unless otherwise noted. What Happens After Death? Introduction dead will never live again, that this life is all there is. What really happens at death? Why do we even have to die? Can we know if there is life beyond the grave? Where can we go for meaningful, believable answers? Only the Creator of life can reveal its purpose and the state of the dead. By looking into the Word of God for answers to our questions about death, we can learn a great deal about both life and death. Join us now for a look at what God, our Creator, says about life and death in His inspired Word, the Bible. You may be both surprised and challenged by what you learn. 3 What Happens After Death? I ntroduction A drunken driver loses control of his car and careens headfirst into a van, killing a family. A mother dies of breast cancer, leaving confused children and a grieving husband. An infant boy succumbs to a birth defect. A gentle, elderly lady dies quietly in her sleep. A desperate, depressed teenager commits suicide. Maybe death would be different if it were predictable or consistent. But death can be so capricious. It hardly seems fair. To us life is precious. But death is everywhere! We don’t want to die. We don’t want to see our loved ones die. Self-preservation is a powerful instinct. We design special diets and exercise programs to keep us young and fit. Through medical sci- ence we seek to isolate the gene that makes us age, hoping somehow to eliminate death. A few have even arranged for their bodies to be preserved cryogenically in the hope that they can be brought back to life when the cure for what killed them is finally discovered. Yet, for all our efforts, hopes and wishes, death is the one thing in life that remains certain. Whether through old age, illness, accident or violence, whether we are rich, poor, male or female, no matter if we’re good or bad, all of us—regardless of race or creed—die. Scientists cannot tell us what happens after death. Too many aspects of life itself are intangible—too elusive to measure and record. Philosophers disagree on death and the afterlife. Religions also disagree. Traditional Christian denominations generally teach that the souls of the dead live on in a place or con- dition of heaven or hell. Many non-Christians believe in the trans- migration or reincarnation of souls at death. Still others believe the 2 The Wondrous Gift of Life the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (emphasis added throughout). Other forms of life exist to serve man in his fulfillment of a greater purpose, but man has an extraordinary God-given purpose for his existence....
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After Death - © 1997 1999 2001 2003 2004 United Church of...

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