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Life after Death?


Do you think that there is life after death?

Many folks believe that there is, but what is the evidence? Has anyone ever returned "from the other side" to tell about it? Does reincarnation happen? For most folks, the life-after-death question is a matter of faith.   If life after death can be proven, then faith is unnecessary. Most of the world's religions believe in some sort of life after death. These fall into four broad categories.

  • Reincarnation.In its Hindu roots, reincarnation is the cycle of a person, after dying, returning as just about anything cow, crow, or cockroach.. or as another person. The Western version has rewritten the concept into a kindler, gentler form, in which people only come back as people.
  • Universalism. In the modern culture, many people assume they will go to heaven after they die.
  • Divinity.Being gods now or in the future.
  • Judgement.Resulting in heaven or hell as eternal dwelling place, as taught by Christianity.
Reincarnation

This is a mystical and mythical concept. If reincarnation were true, everyone alive today would have had many previous lives. Some claim to have memories and abilities carried over from one life to another. If that were the case, the 5,000,000,000-plus people in the world would abound with examples of this phenomenon, which they don't. The Western version of reincarnation has another intractible problem: If everyone is a reincarnated being, how is it that the world's population continues to grow? From what do all of the new people come.

Universalism

Under this theory, everyone goes to heaven after death. One of the evidences cited for universalism is the peaceful "near-death experience" that some describe. Most of these episodes involve a person whose heart stops for several minutes, then is restarted. Following recovery, the person usually describes having seen a tunnel with a light at the end. Old family and acquaintances appear and beckon, but the person is told that it is not his time yet, and he returns to the world of the living, sanguine about his "experience" and no longer fearing death.

Divinity

People have always wanted to be God, from the time of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to the time of today's New Agers. To the extent that God is self-existent, omniscient, and omnipotent, when a person claims to be God it is merely a case of mistaken identity. People simply do not exhibit these divine characteristics.

Mormonism teaches that people can become gods after they die. This idea is a corruption of Biblical teaching, formulated by a Nineteenth Century "prophet" who, based on a claimed angelic visitation, founded a cult steeped in violence, racism, and oppression. Despite historical evidence which argues strongly against the authenticity of his stories, Mormonism retains millions of followers today. They have no evidence whatsoever to support their beliefs in people becoming gods.

Judgement

The thought of standing for judgment can be delightful or frightful, depending on the place toward which a person seems to be heading, because of the permanence associated with the outcome. What evidence supports this teaching, and can it stand up to objective investigation? Jesus said that he came from heaven and would return to heaven. He said that those who believe in him and follow him would spend eternity in heaven, while those who don't will be tormented forever in hell. 

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