Welcome to The Reasons to Believe podcast, episode #184. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.
Our Reasons to Believe Scripture Passage for today is Hebrews 9:27. It reads, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from Sam Storms. He said, “The word ‘death’ is used in Scripture to describe three experiences: 1. Spiritual death, or the separation or alienation of the individual soul from God (cf. Gen. 2:17; 3:3, 8-9; Eph. 2:1, 5); Eternal death or second death, which is the culmination or eternal continuation of spiritual death (cf. Rev. 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8); 3. Physical death which is the temporary separation of the material and immaterial aspects of the human constitution (cf. Gen. 35:18; James 2:26; Phil. 1:21-24; 2 Cor. 5:1-8, 1 Cor. 15:35-58).”
Today we are returning to “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli, which we were using as our guide for this podcast before taking a brief detour with John R. Rice’s “Our God-breathed Book: The Bible” since the authors were starting to say some things which I disagree with on the matter of scripture, its inerrancy and interpretation, etc. So, we are back with a new topic. Our Reasons to Believe powerpoint today comes from Part 5 of the Handbook titled “God & Glory” – Chapter 10: Life After Death:
The human race has come up with six basic theories about what happens to us when we die.
Materialism: Nothing survives. Death ends all of me. Seldom held before the eighteenth century, materialism is now a strong minority view in industrialized nations. It is the natural accompaniment of atheism.
Paganism: A vague, shadowy semiself or ghost survives and goes to the place of the dead, the dark, gloomy Underworld. This is the standard pagan belief. Traces of it can be found even in the Old Testament Jewish notion of sheol. The “ghost” that survives is less alive, less substantial, less real than the flesh and blood organism now living. It is something like a “ghost image” on a TV set: a pale copy of the lost original.
Reincarnation: The individual soul survives and is reincarnated into another body. Reincarnation is usually connected with the next belief, pantheism, by the notion of karma: that after the soul has fulfilled its destiny, and learned its lessons and become sufficiently enlightened, it reverts to a divine status or is absorbed into (or realizes its timeless identity with) the divine All.
Pantheism: Death changes nothing, for what survives death is the same as what was real before death: only the one, changeless, eternal, perfect, spiritual, divine, all-inclusive Reality, sometimes called by a name (“Brahman”) and sometimes not (as in Buddhism). In this view—that of Eastern mysticism—all separateness, including time, is an illusion. Therefore, in this view, the very question of what happens after death is mistaken. The question is not solved but dissolved.
Immortality: The individual soul survives death, but not the body. This soul eventually reaches its eternal destiny of heaven or hell, perhaps through intermediate stages, perhaps through reincarnation. But what survives is an individual, bodiless spirit. This is Platonism, often confused with Christianity.
Resurrection: At death, the soul separates from the body and is reunited at the end of the world to its new, immortal, resurrected body by a divine miracle. This is the Christian view. This view, the supernatural resurrection of the body rather than the natural immortality of the soul alone, is the only version of life after death in Scripture. It is dimly prophesied and hoped for in the Old Testament, but clearly revealed in the New.
For both (5) and (6), the individual soul survives bodily death. That is the issue we shall argue here. We do not take the time to argue against paganism (2) or reincarnation (3) or pantheism (4) here, but only against modern materialism (1), since that is the source of most of the philosophical arguments against immortality in our culture.
We divide our argumentation into seven basic subdivisions, which are placed in an ascending order of compelling force. The refutation of objections merely makes life after death possible. The arguments from authority (i.e., secondhand) are weaker than arguments from reason (i.e., firsthand) because they have an extra link, the trustworthiness of the authority. Within arguments from reason, reason finds better reasons in itself than in mature and better reasons in God than in itself. Arguments from experience are even more convincing and direct than arguments from reason. And within experience, some classes of people have special experiences which give them special certainty.
Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.
Now, if you are listening today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Until next time, my friend, please keep in mind these reasons to believe. God bless!