The Future Life # 1
Does death end all? Is there a life beyond? Can we obtain any reliable information about it? These are questions of the greatest importance and the deepest interest. They lie at the foundation of all religion. They have aroused the interest and attention of the wisest and best of mankind in every age. A belief in this doctrine is a powerful incentive to the practice of moral and religious duty. To establish the doctrine of immortality we turn to the teaching of inspiration. Hence, the only reliable information is the Word of God. The doctrine of immortality is emphatically a doctrine of Divine Revelation. It is purely and exclusively a Bible doctrine. Advocates of this doctrine have been found in every age. Nature may impart the hope, salvation alone can give the assurance. Christ by His life, death and triumphant resurrection "hath abolished death and brought life and immortality to light." Therefore Christianity upon the authority of a direct revelation from heaven is giving us the truth of the doctrine.
We are frequently facing the question of the ages, "If a man die, shall he live again?" It is easy to believe in immortality as we stand by a newly made grave of a friend or loved one. Death does not startle nature or God, but it is the method God uses in changing us from one world to another. The grave is but the gate to life. Death is a visitor with whom we will never become accustomed. Yet, it is nothing uncommon for with every tick of the clock three souls leave this world to meet God.
When stricken with grief we read the Scripture, "Because I live, ye shall live also." Death is the decree of the loving God, the doorway through which we pass to Eternal Day. Death is the best method provided by a loving Lord for exchanging worlds. Jesus Christ tunneled the grave and walked out into liberty, victory, and immorality. What He did, He gives us power to do for He was declared to be the Son of God with power. "But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept." (1 Corinthians 15:20).
A glance into the other world naturally causes one to ask questions as to their future existence. Is death a gateway to endless sorrow or is it an entrance into endless bliss? Such questions come into the mind of all rational beings from the rich man in his palace to the bum of the street.
"Death is not the end; it is only a new beginning. Death is not the master of the home; he is only the appointed porter to open the gate and let the King's guest into the realm of eternal day." Life is not necessarily enclosed within a limit of three score years and ten. We are sailing upon a great sea. The Great Mediterranean Sea is but a fish pond compared to the sea of life we are sailing upon. We are upon the great waters, yea, we are immortal and are sailing with tomorrow in view.
God made no special attempt to prove our future existence but He gives us this truth as an evident fact.
All nationalities of the past have always had within them a native acknowledgement of the fact of a supreme being. The American Indian called it "The Great Spirit." The woman yonder on the bank of the Ganges River willingly throws her baby to the crocodiles believing there is a God, and she has been taught that by this act she will appease the wrath of her god.
Wicked men will testify to the fact that they have within them something that witnesses to a supreme power.
Nature will prove to you there is a God if you desire to see the truth. God has placed something in your breast which will lead you to the dawn of a beautiful day. God has existed from eternity to eternity, the author of the soul of man. Here, we have a silver watch; we know that back of this watch existed some intelligent being greater than the watch itself. Then, suppose we go back to the factory where it was made, but that fails to satisfy. Hence, we go back to the silver mine, where the silver was obtained. With profound thought we wonder who made the silver and from whence it came, and back of all is an all-wise infinite God. Therefore, man is the climax of all of God's creation. What is man and what can a well developed and well trained man accomplish with the aid of his Maker? Man not only learns by experience and observation but he can obtain a practical education through the wonderful facilities of travel. man is back of nature, empires, laws, codes and constitutions. Man has connected continents and annihilated space until this world has become one great neighborhood. The trained mind takes the lead in civilization, constructing roads, building bridges and tunneling mountains. Man has made scales which will weigh a pencil marks or the smallest hair from the eyebrow. He forecasts the weathers predicts the eclipse and foretells the coming storm. He measures the distance from the earth to the sun and gives us scientific information, concerning the Milky Way. He tells us that two pounds of spider web will go around the earth at the Equator but it will take two tones to reach the nearest star. Yet, with all this power, he can't create even one blade of grass. There must be a first cause back of him. An Omnipotent Being. We see God's mighty handiwork on every hand. His footprints are left on the sand of time. He measures the water in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with a span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains with scales and the hills in a balance. Therefore, only a supreme being can do such. When we behold nature and the beauty of God's creation, we will admit that the heavenly artist alone can make and paint things so beautiful!
It was Dr. Mayo of Rochester, Minn., who said, "Man has religious needs and that religion has what man needs and not creeds." The God who created something out of nothing and wasted not a single atom in all His creation, has made provision for a future life in which man's universal longing for immortality will find its realization. I am as sure that you will live again as I am sure you are living now.
God created man just a little lower than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor and gave him intellect sensibility, and will, and having the right kind of training and environment he can attain much heavenly knowledge. Does it seem that as all-wise God would create such a being as man with capacities to know, love, and serve Him and then assign him to failure and disappointment? Every power of man's makeup bespeaks the fact that he was made for a more noble existence than is possible for him to attain in this life. Every power we possess proclaims the fact that man is immortal; is created for a sunnier clime than that of earth. The best we can do here is to get where we can bless humanity and then off the stage of action, we go into eternity. Could it be reasonable to think that it is all of life to live and all of death to die? The poet was correct when he said: "Life is real, life is earnest, and the grave is not it's goal; Dust thou art to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul."
The Almighty has provided a great ship upon which He will carry us across the misty and muddy stream of time and land us safely in the ocean of glory and happiness where we can enjoy eternal bliss. The universal longing of man for immortality can find its realization in the heaven of eternal rest.
We believe in an all-wise and infinite Creator and that in the meantime, He will lift the limitations placed upon us. But if we live a few passing years and then pass away and be no more, why need man such wonderful power? Then why not make him as the ox which has no higher admiration and aspiration than of food to satisfy hunger? Man with lofty powers can look forward to the time when limitations will be removed and mortal put on immortality.
~W. B. Dunkum~
(continued with # 2)