FOR CHRISTIANS, LIFE THERE MUST be after death – because otherwise what is the direction, what is all the fuss about our faith? Belief in the after life, in fact, is the thread that sews all actions of a Christian – a goal of every soul.
With that comes the belief that there is a God. For atheists, they come together . Lack of belief in God means no belief in an after life. Rich, successful men find it easy to be atheists – relying on the material world to make them “happy’?.
Thus they are so terribly scared of death -because that would be the end of it all. And none of those they have amassed on earth they can ever take away with them to the grave.
Yet, the saying is still true that ” in the war foxholes, there are no atheists”. At the death bed in the hospital,there are no atheists. Faced with an irreversible finality- they are always consumed with a burdensome question to themselves: “what if there is an after life and a heaven and hell,after all?”
But even modern science confirms what the Bible says is true. Accounts say there have been 12-15 million Americans who had “near death” experiences. And about 3 million of them uniformly accounted for what “heaven and a hell looked like”.
A pastor named David,for instance, was reportedly fetched by two angels at his death bed . First he was taken to what looked like heaven where a multitude of singing, glowing beings backed by musical instruments not heard of on earth were praising what appeared like a Bright glowing Sun.(God?). They all looked similar, according to David, except that the angels had wings unlike the saints.
He was brought to a stream of mansions that the Lord had promised to the faithful stretching to as far as his eyes could see. The stunning technology of the structure was nothing we know on earth and of unknown materials. Even the flowers were glowing and dancing in praise to the one pervading theme of majestic music of praise.
David likewise reportedly entered the Gates of Hell .There he saw thousands who assumed their same appearance while on earth- screaming and agonizing in their personal torment , literally burned by fire David could not see; they could not communicate to one another- but cried out to David for help but could not see the angels.
This is the so-called “Lazarus Phenomenon” in the Bible in reference to where Jesus brought to life his friend the dead Lazarus. In this case David was clinically dead -but was brought to life – and lived to tell the tale to everyone that heaven and hell do exist.
In another book titled “A Land Unknown” , a doctor revealed how he witnessed hell with thousands of ugly persons with yellow glint in their eyes in horrible pain amid so much filthy smell. At the deepest level of hell, he reportedly saw one who looked life German’s madman Adolf Hitler burning in an un-consummable fire within his own prison cell. He killed millions of Jews.
There was a group who was eating their own flesh- but vomited them afterwards. The seared tissue returned to their bodies -implying this was an eternal agony. They were people who reportedly practiced witchcraft. Another account said that the worst punished by violent fire were the abortionists who killed unborn children. Thousand others- screaming people joined them every minute coming from earth. he said.
Dr Maunie Rawlings , in the meantime, who had scientifically studied this “near death” experience for many years confirm the affirmations of those who saw heaven and hell. They say these visions after they were declared “clinically dead” or stopped breathing or the brain no longer functioned.
They were authentic as the claims were made even by a totally blind person from birth who was able to describe in his own words the “visions” he saw. And even from known atheists who are not expected to promote their lack of belief in the supernatural. The findings were all medically inexplicable.
The other religion we thoroughly respect -Buddhism- has a different take. It says the Gates of Hell are without keys and one can go out and seek redemption. They ascribe to the theory that there are two kinds of hell- one we suffer in the mortal world- and the other beyond.
The suffering on earth is worse than the hell in the after life. There is no pain as torturing and excruciating as the physical pain and mental agony (here on earth) attributable to 11 : lust, greed, illusion of sickness (psycho somatic) , decay, death, lamentation, worry, physical and mental pain and two others.
One thing different with Buddhism is that ,the followers believe no man deserves to be “in hell forever”. Thus they believe in the reincarnation of man- where he pays for his “karmic dues” for his sins in different lifetimes until he finds the “Right View” , follow the “Right Path” and find Nirvana.The ultimate happiness.
Even the pagans and those away from civilization -find it in their innermost beings- the fear of Someone out There and reverence of a Power greater than them. Thus, they make their own gods- believing in redemption to the other life by their intercession.
These thoughts about where we are all finally going to go after life on earth should take center stage when we celebrate two occasions (this week) in our Christian beliefs” All Saints Day”(November 1) and “All Souls Day” (November 2)
The first one is a Holyday of Obligation where we venerate all saints- known and unknown and ask for their help. The second one reminds us of our dearly beloved departed ones and we pray for those still in purgatory , ask for mercy for those already in heaven and beseech those in hell not to visit us.
As an aside , cemeteries are packed in with people like sardines in a tin can during these days- for as the facetious among us believe ” Visit the dead, or the dead will visit you.”
Let us all meditate today that in our rush to do temporal things-we do not lose sight of the fight for the only battle that matters in the end- the battle for the salvation of the soul.
For indeed, what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul? SHALOM!
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