Christians and life after death


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A presentation for Year 9 at Colyton Grammar School Interfaith Morning, July 2012. There's also a website at but it's password-protected; contact if you wish to see it.

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  • I don’t believe we have any objective physical evidence which proves life after death to us. All of the evidence can be read in several ways. There could be different explanations.
  • Jewish people believed they were God’s chosen people, selected by him so that they could be the vehicle through which he would bring the world back to himself. They believed that one day God’s special Servant would appear and complete this task.
  • But they weren’t very clear about what happened after death. In Jesus’ time two competing views had emerged...
  • Jesus said that, yes, there was a resurrection. And that he had come to destroy the power of death. Belief in that became the centre of Christian faith, the good news the early Christians took everywhere and told everyone.
  • Why would anybody believe it so strongly?
  • The evidence for the resurrection convinced them... as it did the 19th century Lew Wallace, the 20th century C S Lewis, and the 21st century Lee Strobel. Three shrewd writers who knew the difference between fact and fiction...
  • More important yet, they believed Jesus had become a reality to them, their greatest friend and support in the world. Christians today are the same; such as Asia Bibi, on death row in Pakistan. Neither she nor her family will consider backing down on their faith, despite the danger they are in...
  • That danger has already led to the death of courageous Christian government minister ShahbazBhatti, who stood up for Asia Bibi. He knew he was likely to be killed – and he was. The video he left behind after his death made it clear that he was prepared to die because he strongly believed Jesus was with him and he must serve his Master.
  • Don’t imagine “heaven” will be like the cartoons of pearly gates and fluffy clouds. The Bible doesn’t picture it like that at all!
  • Instead it talks of a day when heaven and earth will come together... a new heavens and earth where God will be forever with his people.
  • Jesus also made it clear that there’s an option not to be part of this, if you choose. He spoke of hell and used the word “Gehenna” – which literally means this valley here: the Jerusalem city rubbish dump. Hell is not a torture chamber but the place to which we consign ourselves if we choose not to be part of God’s plan for the future of the universe.
  • Christians and life after death

    1. 1. Christians and life after death
    2. 2. 1. There is no evidence for life after death that we can rely on GHOSTS? SPIRIT CONTACT? PAST LIFE MEMORIES? NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES?
    3. 3. 2. To understand why Christians are sosure about life after death, you have to go back to the roots of Christianity in Israel... a chosen people a worldwide role a coming leader
    4. 4. 3. The Old Testament tells us littleabout life after death... two views developed YES, OH NO. THERE WILL THERE BE A DEFINITELYRESURRECTION WON’T Pharisees Sadducees
    5. 5. 4. Christians believed that Jesus settledthe argument. And that HOPE became the centre of Christianity.
    6. 6. Why? Tworeasons...
    7. 7. (1) They believed Jesus truly had risen from the dead – the evidence convinced them.
    8. 8. (2) They experienced the invisiblepresence of Jesus in their lives, and that experience transformed everything.
    9. 9. 7. So Christians believe in life afterdeath because they believe Jesus hasproved it to them... and they can trust him.
    10. 10. 8. What will it be like? Not this...
    11. 11. 9. ... but a whole new world in whichGod isn’t remote and distant, but living himself in the midst of his creation
    12. 12. 10. You can be part of it – or you can opt out. God won’t take you anywhere you don’t want to go