Afterlife

.. ny persons of the anti-Christ religion strongly believe in annihilationism. The living attitude is usually harbored with a lack of conscience and desire for good. It is not considered an “afterlife”, but is a strong and constant argument against eternal life. B.B. Warfield claimed that there were three different forms of annihilationism.

“Pure Mortalism” holds that the human life is so closely tied to the physical organism that when the body dies, the person as an entity ceases to exist (Erickson, 1237). Due to its pantheistic views, this doctrine hasn’t received much attention. The second is “Conditional Immortality”, man is a mortal being. Unless God gives you immortality, death is the end. And the third is called “Annihilationism Proper”. “It sees the extinction of the evil person at death as a direct result of sin (Erickson, 1237)”.

There are two types of annihilation proper. “The first sees annihilation as a direct result of sin. Sin has such a detrimental effect that the individual gradually dies out. Thus, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) is taken quite literally. Sin is self-destructive.

After a certain amount of time, perhaps proportionate to the sinfulness of the individual, those who are redeemed wear out as it were. The other type of pure annihilationism is the idea that God cannot and will not allow the sinful person to have eternal life. There is punishment for sin. The punishment need not be infinite, however. After a sufficient amount of punishment has been endured, God will simply destroy the individual self (Erickson, 1238).” As you may have guessed, the existence of heaven and hell are not being denied or argued here.

The pure “nature” of them is the debate. Different beliefs and religions call for various natures of heaven and hell, or thereof. The beliefs of Erickson and Pinnock seem a little depressing to me. Who would want to just hope for a chance to be immortal? I’d rather work for it. Many others feel the same way also.

Including religions like Catholicism, Buddhism, Reincarnationism and almost all other modern philosophized beliefs. They’re all the same things in disguise. Buddhism is an ancient religion that was philosophized to belief. In ancient Tibetan Buddhism, there are three “Bardos”. Each bardo is like a step down from the preceding.

If the first is not successfully passed, the soul falls into the second bardo. Starting from the first, the soul has to recognize the Clear light of the Ultimate Reality and act in a way to remain in that state. This will ultimately lead to Liberation (www.near-death, first bardo). Basically, knowledge and meditation on the laws of the bardos is what is needed to pass into the after life according to Buddhism. Does this mean that every infant, child, and/or young teen who hasn’t had enough time to learn about the bardos go to hell? When asked this, denial of this punishment is shown. They are not really sure what they want to happen with young people (www.near-death, bardos). Sounds like real mystery to me.

Catholicism, to put in a few words, is the belief that baptism of the holy waters will bring your spirit to heaven after life on earth. No real perimeters of love are laid down here. If God loves us he will set down rules for us. And he did. Catholics didn’t exactly like those laws so they changed them and twisted them so that they were more comfortable. Their religion is based on the Christian Bible.

We all have probably experienced the beliefs of this religion before, Jehovah’s Witnesses. They also believe in the same Heaven and Hell as the others do. Frequently known as JWs, they usually travel door to door like salesmen promoting their product. Because their religion is just a product, it takes away from the “holiness of it all”. They will tell you to be good because God is coming back soon.

Then they really leave you confused when they don’t really tell you what you should be doing with your time to be accepted into heaven. It seems that everyone is so focused on trying to know a lot. This passage below is a good thought helper on the topic of the afterlife. We get the view of both the living body and of the deceased one. It also demonstrates the curiosity we should have on studying such a strong subject.

In a secluded cemetery in Indiana, there is an old tombstone that bears this epitaph: Pause, stranger, when you pass me by As you are now, so once was I As I am now, so you will be So prepare for death and follow me An unknown passerby read those words and underneath scratched this reply: To follow you I’m not content Until I know which way you went (Lutzer, 10-11) A man by the name of Tony Campolo searched all religions and beliefs for the “truth”. The one that seemed the most real yet at the same time unbelievable was his target. He was going to prove on all accounts that he could that the Christian Bible was wrong and contradicting. For three years he tried to prove its falsehood. Today he is an author and religious leader of the Christian faith. When someone asked him why he now believes this, he replied, “It isn’t a religion, cult, or even a belief, it’s a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that has a full written guarantee on it”. In conclusion, the “truth” is in front of us.

Let’s take what we are now aware of and face it, find it, and act on it. We should not be content taking life as a gamble, Because in the life after life, it is no gamble. Jesus Christ died for us and tells us all about his love in his own book.. the Bible. Bibliography Clark Pinnock, The Destruction of the Finally Impenitent, Criswell Theological Review, pg. 247-278 Clark Pinnock, Essentials: A Liberal / Evangelical Dialogue, (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1988.) Millard J. Erickson, Christian theology, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1985 William C. Irving, Heresies Exposed, Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, N.J.

1970 Webster’s New World Dictionary Simon and Schuster Inc., N.Y. 1995 C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses”, Rev. and Exp. Ed., (New York and Macmillon, 1980) Erwin W. Lutzer, “One Minute After You Die”, Moody Press, Chicago 1997 Jesus Christ, The Bible CEV.