Welcome to The Reasons to Believe podcast, episode #185. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.
Our Reasons to Believe Scripture Passage for today is Matthew 10:28. It reads, “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.”
Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from Erwin Lutzer. He said, “Christ, as we shall see, is the only One who is qualified to tell us what we can expect on the other side. He was dead – so dead that His body became cold and was put in a tomb. Three days later He was raised from the dead with a glorified body. Here is someone whose opinion can be trusted. To John this risen Christ said, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and Hades’ (Revelation 1:17-18). Reliable information does not come to us by trying to peer behind the partially open curtain. God alone knows what really lies on the other side of the veil. And that is why we can do no better than study what the Bible has to say about the Great Beyond.”
Our Reason to Believe powerpoint today is titled “Life After Death, Part 2” from “The Handbook of Christian Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli.
Refutation of Four Objections Against Immortality
Some objections are frequently raised against the possibility of life after death. Meeting them does not by itself make the case for immortality, but it does show that the case against immortality has not been successfully made. And that can be helpful. These objections are often troubling and distracting; they can spoil our appreciation of the positive case for life after death. We therefore consider them here.
Even if materialism is false, there may still be no possibility of surviving bodily death. For the self gains access to the world of experience through the brain. We use the brain for sensing; we also use it for thinking. These are basic human experiences. But death, in robbing us of the brain, robs us of the means by which we experience. Now we human persons are centers of self-conscious experience. If what survives death can in no way experience, then “we” do not survive death.
Reply: There is much truth in this objection. You need no scientific expertise to notice the connection between the functioning of the brain and the quality of our experience. Sensation is part of the way we humans come to know about things, to live our lives in this world. And without the body, with its central nervous system, we could have no sensations. Therefore, after bodily death, the means by which we experienced the material world and acted in it is removed.All this we grant. Does it entail that what survives death could in no way have self-conscious experiences? By no means.
1. During our lifetime, the body gives us access to the world of human living. It is here that we develop morally and intellectually; here that we make choices and set our will toward the good—or away from it. Persons who have lived on this earth for a certain time, when they face death, have very definite moral and intellectual qualities. What they have known and done and desired—all these are part of what they are. Death robs us of the means for continuing to have such experiences, but that does not mean we must lack consciousness of the kind of self such experience helped to shape—consciousness, in other words, of what we are. This sort of self-presence would not be exactly like the kind of experience we had of ourselves here on earth, in the body. That goes without saying. But our question was: Is all self-conscious experience apart from the body impossible? This has not been shown.
2. Christians believe in a special connection between themselves and their bodies. Without their bodies they are not really complete. Christians believe also that God made them to live with him forever, not as disembodied souls, but in the glorified body raised up in the resurrection on the last day. We have something to say elsewhere about the resurrection, but here we should note that what you believe about life after death depends very much on what you believe about God. If God exists, and if God has destined us for eternal life, then there is really no problem about the means for self-conscious experience. God will provide them. At the death of the body and before the general resurrection, God is fully capable of providing the means by which we enjoy his presence. No doubt, as we have said before, this will be very unlike the way we now experience. We may even find it frightening to think about. But this is beside the point. What is strange and unfamiliar is not for that reason impossible. Thus this second objection fails.
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!