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THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL
169
(Mal. 4: 1-3)." ... and they shall be as though they had not been"
(Obad. 16).
But, what, in the meantime - what between the second of
one's death and the resurrection? The Bible teaching, contrary to
much religious and church teaching- that is the WoRD OF Goo
teaching- is that the dead ARE DEAD - utterly unconscious.
Notice the inspired wisdom .of Solomon: "For the living
know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything ... " -
the RSV translates it, "the dead KNOW NOTHING" (Eccl. 9:5).
Recently a Worldwide Church of God minister told me of
experiences he has had with three successive would-be suicides.
Each time he said to them, "Well, go right ahead- but first you'd
better learn what happens at the moment you die. So far as your
consciousness goes, the next fraction of a second you will wake up
in the resurrection - and if you commit this self-murder, you'll
still
be facing all your problems, and the guilt of this SELF-MURDER
crime in addition. Why not solve the problems NOW, before you
commit this murder?" Not one of the three went on through with
his intended suicide!
So, there's nothing to gain by "ending it all," thinking that is
the
easy
way out. Death only brings
instant
awakening in the res–
urrection. You will know absolutely NOTHING from the second
you die, till the second you awake in the resurrection. These men,
the minister explained, had supposed that suicide would END IT
ALL - and they'd be out of their troubles, but when they learned
they would still have their troubles plus a MURDER charge against
them in THAT JUDGMENT, it no longer seemed that suicide was the
"quick way out of it all."
No, death is not a friend, but an ENEMY! Christ carne to DE–
STROY DEATH- to make a happy, peaceful, abundant life possible
for all - for each in his own due time. He carne that we might
have LIFE, "and have it more abundantly."
There most certainly is life after death - and Christ made
possible a transcendent human potential so great it seems incred–
ible. He carne to DIE in our stead - to pay the penalty we have in–
curred
for us,
and to GIVE us LIFE!
Christ Himselftaught that there is LIFE AFTER DEATH.
He taught the Pharisee, Nicodemus, but Nicodemus didn't