Some say, they are… gone, no longer here, upstairs, in Heaven or kicked the bucket. One young boy at the funeral home said, “Mother, you told me Grandfather was in Heaven, but I see him in that box.” Well, the only assurance, authority, and absolute about life after death is found in the Scriptures. What do the Scriptures say? First, let’s review the story of a son who died and was returned to life: “The son… fell sick… no breath … and he (Elijah) saith unto her (mother), Give me thy son… and laid him upon his own bed… and cried unto the LORD… O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him (body) again, and he revived… Elijah said, See, thy son (once dead) liveth. (1 Kgs 17:20-23).
What did we learn? Death is when the soul leaves the body. The body ceases but the soul (real you) still exists. The son’s body remained dead until his soul returned to his body. A man was asked what he wanted to be said at his coffin. He thoughtfully said, “I think I saw him move.” Well, the son’s dead body moved again. Note: Before the Lord died, He was often referred to as “Him.” “They spit upon him, smote him, mocked him, and led him away to crucify him (MT 27:30-31). After he died, His body was referred to as “It.” “And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it … And laid it in his own new tomb” (MT 27:59-60). Note: “Him” left “It.” But after the resurrection, “It” became “Him” again.” “And when they saw him, they worshipped him” (MT 28:17). You are a soul with a body, not a body with a soul. When you are “in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17), your soul is saved, but your body will not be changed until the Lord returns (1 Cor. 15:51). “And the LORD God formed man (body) of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7). Scriptures say, “to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). At death the soul is absent from the body and is instantly present with the Lord. Scriptures say, “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Gen. 3:19). “Then shall the dust return to the earth…and the spirit (soul) shall return unto God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7). There was a time you were not, but once born, there is not a time you will not be. Your soul is the real “you” that lives in your body and exists after death.
In conclusion: There are only two groups of people today: Those “in Christ” who after death will be eternally present with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:13). Those “without Christ” (Eph. 2:12) who after death will face judgment (Heb. 9:27) and eternal absence from the Lord. Yes! There is life after death? You can trust the Scriptures and the words of God who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), or you can wait until you die (Heb. 9:27) and personally attest as all others that there is life after death.