Second response to "What happens after I die?"

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

By Tom Holmes

Contributing Reporter / Religion Blogger

What happens to us when we die? Most of us are familiar with reports of those who have near death experiences, situations where the person has no vital signs but then comes back to life. This happened to a member of a congregation I was serving some years back. He shared the experience with me. His account was the same as others I've read about: floating above his body while he observed the medical team working on him, a feeling of bliss and peace, an absence of fear, and then being drawn back into his body. He did not, as some people have reported, see any visions of Jesus or departed loved ones. 

Some years back a book by the cardiologist, Dr. Maurice Rawlings, entitled, "To Hell and Back", told of such experiences and as the title suggests, not all of them were blissful. We don't hear about those. After all, who wants to say that they went to hell? On the other hand, none of those raised by Jesus in the New Testament ever told (at least not in the Scriptures) of their experience on the other side. While none of this answers your question as to what I believe here are my thoughts and beliefs based upon the Scriptures.

Along with St. Paul in I Corinthians 15 (note verses 50-57) I believe death to be a sleep from which we shall awaken. Death is no more a threat than a "shadow" in a valley (Psalm 23) because of Jesus' victory. There is no consciousness.

Is there a division of body and soul? While people speak of the soul going to heaven while the body remains on earth may offer comfort to the family, I would rather speak of the total person, body and soul, resting in God's arms awaiting the resurrection; the soul being that life principle (or breath) he breathed into humans at the time of their creation. It is that which Jesus gave up when he died. We also will give up that same life principle when we die. It will return upon our resurrection.

The resurrected body will be very different from our present one which is limited by time and space. Note the change in Jesus' body and actions after his resurrection as recorded in the Gospels.

Finally, death is a drawing nearer to our Lord. Note the promise of Jesus in John 14:2 where he speaks of preparing a place for us and his words to the thief on the cross in Luke 23:43, "…today you will be with me in paradise."

 

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and OakPark.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.


            
SubscribeClassified
MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Latest Comments