Is There Life After Death? Part III
"I am telling you this strange and wonderful secret: we shall not all die, but we shall all be given new bodies...For our earthly bodies, the ones we have now that can die, must be transformed into heavenly bodies that cannot perish but will live forever."1
Yesterday we gave references of those who saw Jesus following his resurrection from the grave. Following are more witnesses: Eight days after his resurrection, Jesus is seen again by the disciples2 and at the Lake of Tiberias by seven of the disciples—including Peter, James, and John.3
On a Galilean mountain Jesus appeared to more than 500 of his followers at one time.4 He also appeared to his brother, James, who prior to Christ's resurrection totally rejected him as the Messiah.5 Perhaps one of the strongest evidences of the resurrection is this dramatic change in James, who became one of the chief leaders in the early Christian church.
At the Mount of Olives, on the day of his return to heaven, Christ was again seen by the eleven disciples, the brothers of Jesus and several women, including his mother.6 Later the ascended Christ appeared in a blinding light to Paul on the road to Damascus,7 to Stephen when he was being stoned to death,8 to Paul again at the Temple,9 and finally to John on the Isle of Patmos.10
In about A.D. 100 Josephus, the Jewish historian, wrote in his Antiquities that Jesus "appeared to them alive on the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him."11 Since Josephus was a Jew writing to please the Romans, this story would not have pleased them in the slightest. He would hardly have included it if it were false.12 Ancient men believed that there was life after death. Jesus Christ himself taught this and proved it by his own resurrection. Josephus, the Jewish historian, reported Christ's resurrection. And now modern science seems to confirm what the Bible has been teaching for several thousand years—that there is life after death.
The crucial point, however, is to be sure that we are personally ready for life beyond the grave. We can be by confessing our sinfulness to God, by acknowledging our need of God, and by responding to Jesus Christ's call to receive him as personal Lord and Savior. To assist you in doing this and to be sure that you are prepared for life after death, read: "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian—without having to be religious" at: http://tinyurl.com/real-christian.
God's Word says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."13
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you again for the assurance from your Word of life after death for all your true followers. Please help me to know for certain that I have accepted Jesus as my Savior and am prepared for the life to come. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. I Corinthians 15:51,53 (TLB)(NLT).
2. John 20:26-28.
3. John 21:1-23.
4. I Corinthians 15:6
5. I Corinthians 15:7.
6. Acts 1:9-14.
7. Acts 9:3-6.
8. Acts 7:55.
9. Acts 22:11; 17-21.
10. Revelation 1:10-19.
11. Josephus, Antiquities, Book 18, chapter 3, v. 3.
12. Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, p.194. Campus Crusade for Christ International. Inc., Copyright 1972. Used by permission.
13. John 3:16.