I talk to many people that are very worried the earth may be dying. There are major groups that devote themselves to proving the idea that the earth is doomed to perish. Scientists warn us daily on extreme weather patterns and melting ice. Some have stored away food and supplies in fear that something significant will be coming to destroy the earth. One can go online and purchase his own underground bunker, or reserve a home in communities that have been built below the surface of the earth in hopes to survive whatever comes our way.
Death and After Life
We avoid thinking about death in our culture. We’re uncomfortable talking about it. We would rather just brush it aside with a nervous laugh and change the subject. But we can’t brush it aside for too long, because we and everyone we know will die.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death (1Co 15:26). We are told approximately two hundred deaths occur in the world every second of time. That is approximately 63,072,000 in one year (this does not include infanticide by the millions, through induced abortions -1 1/2 million more worldwide). Medical science and health advocates are continually seeking ways to prolong life and delay the process of death. They would like to destroy death. But death is all inclusive and certain. It does not miss anyone.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col 3:1).
In 1980, a construction crew accidently uncovered an ancient tomb as they excavated a site in a neighborhood south of old Jerusalem. Entombed were 10 ossuaries containing bones. On one of the ossuaries, an inscription read, “Jesus the son of Joseph.” Inscriptions on the other ossuaries revealed two Marys, a Joseph, a Matthew, and a Jude the son of Jesus. The one Mary’s name was rendered in Greek as Marianene which some believe could be Mary Magdalene.
There is an account of a marathon swimmer that swam across part of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. Even though she swam inside a cage to ward off large fish, the crew on the accompanying boat were constantly on the lookout for the stingray fish which can give a fatal poisonous sting. This illustration gives a number of parallels to the title taken from 1Corinthians 15:56, which mentions “the sting of death is sin.” It is very true that sin does sting death to each spiritual life it is allowed to penetrate. No one has the immunity to fight off the deadly effects of sin.
Death is cold, cruel, and at times even brutal. It seldom touches our families at a time that we feel is convenient or appropriate. sudden deaths or slow, painful deaths are both traumatic. They leave the families feeling devastated. But that is death; it is not by nature a pleasant part of life.
The Martyr’s Mirror as we have it is a history book first published in the Dutch language. The book contains chronicles, memorials and testimonies of Christians persecuted for their faith in Jesus. The aim of the book was to preserve in writing, accounts of Christians who were faithful to death. The book was not an attempt to glorify these men. It was written and complied as encouragement to faithfulness. It is the story of suffering people who esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in “Egypt” and who held respect unto the recompense of the reward of Christ.
Deeply moved by a statement regarding the seriousness of hell made by his great-uncle, Philip King composed this graphic portrayal of the condition of a lost soul in eternity.
In 2004, a car accident critically injured 6-year-old Alex Malarkey. After two months he emerged from a coma, permanently paralyzed but with stories of out-of-body experiences and several trips to heaven. A few years later, in 2010, a major evangelical publisher released his story, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven: A True Story, listing Alex and his father as co-authors. The book rose quickly to the bestseller list and sold over a million copies.