The Future Life # 2
We see death ends probation forever, and that life does not end all. Man will live on when this earthly frame shall have crumbled into dust. This is the Christian's hope. In the hour death, hope sees a star and dying love hears the rustling of angel's wings. The angel of death makes his way across the river of death coming to the rescue of the Christian.
The Christian hope kindles a smile on the brow of the saint and hangs the rainbow of hope over the grave of our loved ones. The anchor holds in the storms of life and when our feet enter the chilly waters of death, you need to fear no evil, for Christ will lead through the misty stream and will see that the waters shall not overflow. We shall awake in His likeness and climb out over on the other shore and our eyes will catch a glimpse of the King upon His Majestic Throne and behold angels as they welcome to the land of the blessed. Then, we will meet our loved ones who have gone on before and meet to part no more. Brethren, such an experience will "Far exceed our fondest dreams."
Aside from the Resurrection of Christ and what He had to say about it we have no positive proof of the immortality of the soul.
There are various lines of evidences, and no one contains all the truth of the facts under consideration, but each adds to the general weight of proof. Among these arguments are the following:
1. Man's universal feeling about the future life. We would not for a moment think of God deceiving us along this line. As winter approaches and the birds start for a warmer climate,are they deceived? Can you conceive of God who gives that marvelous instinct to the bird and then not give man some intuitive feeling of immortality. Bacon said, "Learning leads to skepticism, but profound philosophy leads to religion." Immortality is the goal in view. Scientists, philosophers, and inventors have believed in a future life. Nature never deceives instinct; such as birds to the air, ducks to the pond, and moles to the ground. The skeptic is like a squirrel or a bee which fails to prepare for winter. Just as surely as God designed fins for the water, light for the eye, and sound for the ear, He also made heaven for the soul. Truly, the Spirit of immortality is divinely implanted in humanity.
Let immortality be the first lesson of the nursery and let it be the motto of every school, college, university and seminary throughout the land; let it be preached from every platform and pulpit in Christendom. Let it be preached everywhere that the soul is immortal, and will live throughout eternity when earthly kingdoms have fallen. The soul may enjoy eternal felicity in the realms of eternal bliss.
2. A sense of our incompleteness. There is a sense of incompleteness in man as far as this life is concerned. The more the student thinks, the more he is convinced that this is a life of incompleteness. In other words, this life is a small part of a great whole. Is all your experience, wealth, and wisdom purchased with the price of pain and discipline to utterly perish at your death? Most good people feel as they stand by an open grave, though they have the frost of winter upon their heads that eternal spring has just begun within their hearts. You frequently hear people say, "I am seventy or eighty years young" and not old. They mean immortality is about to peep from behind the eastern horizon. In spite of distressing and alarming conditions of earth existing as they do about us, the eternal and All-wise God behind the curtain longs and eagerly waits to bless us with heaven's multiplied blessings and in the morning open to us the door of immortality.
3. The continuation of personality proves the immortality of the soul. Let us consider the persistence of mankind, and your own individuality. You have passed through many surprising changes since you first became a self-conscious being. The psychologist tells us that the entire body goes through a complete change every seven years, and some say more frequently than that, yet we are the same identical person. Death is not supposed to destroy the real self which has gone through so many and so great changes. If the body undergoes a change every seven years, then the man seventy years old has had ten bodies and the same soul has shown through them all.
The student of ethics tells us that we take up in the future life where we leave off here. It is an evident fact that the future will be one of misery or happiness because we have such conditions though in less degree in this life. We are punished here for vice and rewarded for virtue and it is reasonable to expect same in the future life. Yet, we are justly or fully rewarded or punished here. If we are religious and heed salvation, we are rewarded, if we are irreligious and do not heed then we must suffer the consequences. God teaches us His approval toward rewarding virtue. So we can be as happy or miserable in eternity as we want to be because our actions here determine our future. Don't forget whether your life is a life of happiness or misery you will begin in yonder's world where you leave off in this world.
4. The certainty of immorality. The certainty of immorality is this, "Now is Christ risen from the dead." We no longer guess and surmise. We know whereof we speak. All of our instinctive feelings and convictions center in the resurrection of Christ. What sort of a Resurrection will it be? A resurrection of identity. He was, and is the same Christ who walked the dusty streets of Jerusalem and the pathless Sea of Galilee. We, too, will be the same absolutely. Death will not change our character whether or impure, justified or guilty. "So them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." It will be a blessed resurrection and glorious change. Just as the life of Jesus after the resurrection was enlarged and glorified, so will be the life of those who partake of His salvation and share in His life. Have you the certainty of a glorious resurrection? Will you rise to everlasting life or to everlasting shame?
Is it not logical to believe in immortality? Man not only believes but longs and thirsts after it, whether rich or poor, learned or unlearned, barbarian, heathen, civilized, or scientific; they shudder, they quake at the thought of destruction, but with glorious anticipation look forward to immortality.
The soul is the most valuable gem of all God's creation; it is immortal and is capable of happiness or misery here or hereafter. It is an undying creature, more valuable than gold and diamonds, and will live when earthly kingdoms shall have crumbled into dust, will live when the pyramids of Egypt are leveled with the ground, will live when the lofty Alps are swayed by the mighty forces of nature, and will live when the heavens are rolled together as a scroll. Yes, the soul of man will live as long as the Lord God Omnipotent lives and reigns.
Every man is created with a principle in him which will live forever. Job asked the question, "If a man die, shall he live again?" He seemed to have felt the feelings of immortality.
We are in this world for preparation, being on trial for the next.
In this world we are to exist for a short time and afterwords, be transplanted into a better and more healthful climate where we shall grow and flourish throughout eternity.
It is a fatal mistake to suppose that the undertaker divorces the Spirit and body; we will need our minds and bodies in the region beyond the grave. They are our property and no one else will have use for them. There will be a glorious reunion in the resurrection morning when we shall have bodies fashioned like unto His glorious body. "Who is the fairest among ten thousand and the one altogether lovely." The mortal must put on immortality and death he swallowed up in life. Then comes the question, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" And a voice from Calvary will be heard saying, "Buried in the bosom of the immaculate Christ."
~W. B. Dunkum~
(continued with # 3)