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Death has been a topic where people hardly ever spoke about, but in recent times, many people have become more open to discussing it. There are many questions arising on what happens next after a person dies. Before I move into my view, I would like to shed some light on some various beliefs.
I would first begin with the atheist view on the afterlife. Atheists are people who do not believe in the existence of God or a Supreme Being. Some atheists have the view that when a person dies, he or she just disappears. Some others too believe that there is the existence of spirits and the concept of reincarnation. Buddhists believe in the reincarnation, the cycle of death and rebirth. Christian belief in the afterlife is based on what denomination you belong to. They mostly believe that Jesus came to die for their sins and resurrected on the third day. They also believe that the moral choices you make on earth would determine if you would either end up in heaven or hell. For me, I stand with the Christian view of the afterlife, which involves the fact that the choices you make on earth would determine if you would end up in Heaven or Hell.
When you die, your soul goes to be with God, where it enjoys God’s glory and waits for the final judgment. At the final judgment bodies are reunited with souls, and eternal rewards and punishments are handed out.
For the defense of the Christian belief, the main points would be taken from the Holy Bible. In 2 Timothy 3;16-17 in the Bible, it says that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect truly furnished unto all good works”. This explains that the Bible was not written by the views of mere men but through the inspiration of God. Now that we have established the source of the Bible, let us move on into the evidence. In John 3:16, the bible says that “ For God so loved the world the world that he gave His only Begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The everlasting life here certainly does not refer to the life lived on earth because everybody would eventually die.
The everlasting life here refers to the life which would be lived after death. In John 14, Jesus Christ was talking to His disciples and was telling them that He was going to prepare a place for them. He also stated that in His father’s house there are many mansions. I am pretty sure he was not talking about His father’s house in Miami or in New Jersey. He was talking about His house called Heaven, which is a place you go to based on the choices you made here on earth.
Another verse in the bible talking about eternal life is 1 John 5:13-14 which says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus told a story about a rich man and a man called Lazarus. Lazarus was a beggar who used to beg outside the rich man’s house. He even used to eat the bread crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. It so happened that both the rich man and Lazarus died. Lazarus was sent up by angels to Abraham’s bosom while the rich man was in hell. Father Abraham told the rich man that there was a huge gulf in between Heaven and Hell so even if he wanted to help the rich man, he couldn’t. All these events happened after they both died. So even though they died on earth, they continued to live the afterlife.
Matthew 7:13-14 says,” Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it”. The bible was talking about the narrow way and the broad way. The broad way leads to destruction. The destruction here does not mean literal death on earth but it means going to hell to be destroyed. The narrow way leads to life, which is living after death in Heaven. There are many more examples in the bible that talk about the eternal life. Some of these examples are Psalm 39:1-7, Deuteronomy 9:5-7, Proverbs 11:30-34, Ephesians 2:8-10, Job 14:14-16.
Even though the views stated above are from Christians, the Catholics have a different belief in the afterlife. The Catholic Church believes that ‘all who die in God’s grace and friendship but still imperfectly purified’ undergo the process of purification which the Church calls purgatory, ‘so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven”.
Now we have established that there is some form of life after the life here on earth. Let us now try and see the available destinations for living these lives. The bible speaks about the only two destinations which are Heaven and Hell. The bible explains Heaven as the destination for those who are saved and Hell as the destination for those who are not saved. In revelation 19:20, it says, “But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur”. Hell is described as a place of pain and torment. It is known to be a fiery lake of burning sulfur. I do not think a place like this would just be made for fun. It was made for the devil and all those who are not saved. This shows that even after death, there is still going to be some other life lived either in this place of torment or in Heaven. There are many other examples of verses in the Bible which talk about hell but due to the restrain in page numbers I will just list the verses. Some of the examples are Revelation 21:8, Matthew 25:46, Psalm 9:17, Matthew 13:50 and many others. The other destination is Heaven, a place prepared for the children of God. “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened — not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” This verse goes to explain that there is another place outside this world which is reserved for the children of God. The bible gives so many assurances of this Heavenly place. Some verses for reference are.
In conclusion, many people have different beliefs in the afterlife. The Christian view of the afterlife is the existence of heaven and hell. They therefore make sure to lead upright lives and go according to the rules and teachings of the Bible.
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