What lies beyond the grave?
Does our time on earth end with our decaying bodies – or is there something better – beyond our wildest dreams – that waits ahead ?
Atheists say there is nothing beyond death, we are here by time and chance.
The Bible promises a renewed earth under the rule of Jesus. The dead in Christ will be raised to life – every fear and tear will be wiped away. It will be the time of blessing planned by God since the start of time –
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
HOW CAN WE BELIEVE IT?
How can we be sure of the promise of life after death? There are many reasons to believe, but this article presents just 2 –
- The Witness of Jesus Back from the Dead
The Gospel Jesus preached didn’t take off in his own lifetime. He was crucified by the Romans, his male disciples fled and only a group of women stayed by Him at the cross (See ‘Under the Banner of Love’). He taught a message that seemed to go nowhere – until He rose from the dead! It was seeing Jesus alive – back from the dead – that transformed the movement of Christianity – He was witnessed by people whose conviction of what they saw changed the world –
“He appeared to more than five hundred of his followers at once.” 1 Corinthians 15:6
Many of these witnesses were willing to suffer for their testimonies –some were thrown to the lions – such was their conviction after seeing Jesus back from the dead.
With the passing of years, the witness of the early Christians lost its impact. But God had another testament to His word – the Jews.
2. The Witness of the Jews
God chose Israel to show the world that He will do what He says –
“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “that I am God.”
God has kept them as His witnesses even though the Jewish leaders rejected His Son –
It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. Ezekiel 36:22
God foretold the Jewish rejection of His teachings and as a consequence the escalating curses that would come. He said he would scatter the Jews from one end of the earth to the other and this would be a sign to all nations. They would –
“Become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the peoples where the LORD would drive them.” (Deuteronomy 28:37)
This happened. Their temple was destroyed in 70 AD and in 135 AD Hadrian banned them from Jerusalem. For almost 2,000 years they were scattered around the world without a homeland, and were often the scapegoats when things went wrong. This was a time of trouble for Israel, worse than any they had experienced. It was predicted in Daniel –
There will be a time of trouble, the likes of which will not have occurred from the beginning of nations until that time. Daniel 12:1
Israel’s time of great trouble – after rejecting their Messiah – lasted almost 2,000 years and culminated in the horrors of the holocaust.
But after the tribulation of those days there would be more signs –
Immediately after the tribulation of those days:
‘The sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’
At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven. Matt. 24:29
God would bring the Jews back to the land of Israel after the tribulation while they were scattered –
“I will bring you back to the land of Israel.” Ezekiel 37:12
AGAINST THE ODDS
On May 14, 1948 – Israel declared independence –
Stated intention – “Drive the Jews into the sea.”
Hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned, these survivors of the death camps, shocked not only the Arab armies, but the entire world. Many Israelis went into battle without a weapon – taking them from the fallen enemy as they went.
The re-capture of Jerusalem by the Jews in 1967 was the direct fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy to the very year! – See Daniel 8 – 2,300 year prophecy
God chose Israel as His witnesses to show the nearness of Christ’s return by the unfolding events happening to them. These events are way beyond chance and there are more to come.
For greater detail of what has and will happened see Signs of Jesus 2nd Coming – Prophecy from Mt. of Olives
To be part of eternity and the joy of God’s Kingdom, commit your life to Christ while there is time – email me (Robin) to discuss firstname.lastname@example.org