life after death

Life After Death: The Power of Baptism

Is there life after death?

People always ask this question. And I wanted to know the answer too.

So, I did what everyone does when they have a question to which they don’t know the answer.  I asked Google!

Google gave me over 34 million results.  That was too many for me to read & review.  But I can tell you that from a quick glance, there’s much debate.

Some people think that when you die, that’s it.  You’re dead.  You’re done.  That’s the end. Some people think there’s some kind of consciousness after death.  Some people think your life starts over again & there’s debate about whether you have any memory of your former life or not.

If you believe the movie, “A Dog’s Purpose,” then apparently reincarnation does happen for pets!

Then are those who believe in Heaven, Hell & life after death in an eternal place that is set up by God.  But even then, there is disagreement about how all that works.

So, I did the next thing people do… I went to Amazon.  Surely someone has written a book about this.

There were over 10,000 books Amazon recommended I read.  I’m not that fast of a reader, but I can tell you that even on Amazon there is disagreement about this subject.  You’ll find the same kind of ideas that Google revealed.

You’ll also see a lot of books about people who supposedly died, went to Heaven, then came back to life to tell us all about Heaven, Hell & the afterlife.  They will tell you that Heaven is For Real!  That book & others like it have sold millions of copies mostly to Bible believing Christians who, instead of looking to the word of God for truth about life after death, look to these kinds of fictional accounts that do not line up with the word of God.

I appreciate the way David Platt talks about this… According to the biblical account, no one ever died, went to Heaven & then came back to tell us about it.  And that includes Lazarus who was 4 days dead!

In fact, & we saw this in a previous post, according to John 3.13 only one person has ever come down from heaven & that was the Son of Man. Jesus.

Only 4 biblical authors tell us what Heaven was like based on their visions of Heaven, but these weren’t near death experiences, these were visions from God.  Isaiah, Ezekiel, Paul & John all had visions of Heaven. Everyone of them talk about the glory & the majesty of God.

But people want to know, is there life after death?

So we read these fictional books based on the stories of others & we base our lives & our theology, what we think about life after death, on these kinds of things.

Have we missed the point?

I wonder if we’ve somehow missed the point?

The truth is, we’re all scared of dying. We’re scared of death. We’re fearful about what happens to us after we die. We’re afraid of the possibility that there might be a hell.

In fact, for many years this was the leverage churches needed to scare people into the waters of baptism. We had this, “Better safe than sorry” theology.

But what if we’ve missed it? What if there is life after death & what if Jesus offers that life now?

In a letter to a man by the name of Titus, Paul wrote these words…

Titus 1.1-2

This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began.

Paul tells Titus, this is the truth! That those who have put their faith in, those who believe in Jesus, they have ETERNAL LIFE!  Eternal life that is promised from God.

Despite what their culture says, God is the one who promises eternal life through Jesus.

And notice the way Paul says it… he doesn’t say to teach them that at some point in the future they will have eternal life, or that they will get eternal life or enter into eternal life after death… NO!

Those who believe in Jesus ALREADY have ETERNAL LIFE!

And then Paul says this…

Titus 3.3-7

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.

Was he writing this 2000 years ago, or yesterday?

How many times have we acted foolishly? How many times in the past 48 hours have you made choices that were disobedient to the will of God? Should I ask how often you find yourself slaves to lust & pleasure? Or how often you struggle with evil? With envy? With hate?

But Paul goes on to say…

But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but…

It wasn’t because of anything we did. Because there is literally NOTHING you can do to save yourself.

When it comes to the reality of you standing before a perfect & Holy God on the last day… there is absolutely nothing you can say to defend yourself or save yourself.

You can’t save yourself.

You can’t save yourself… but God can.

He doesn’t save you because any good thing you’ve ever done or ever could do. He saves you for one reason…

because of his mercy.

And here’s how the God of the universe has chosen to save you…

He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

Did you hear that? Standing before a perfect & holy God, there is nothing you can do, nothing you can say. You don’t deserve anything in His presence. You couldn’t earn your way into Heaven if you tried.

But…

Jesus washes away our sins.

He gives us a new birth.

He gives us new life.

All this comes through His Holy Spirit..

It’s all about His grace. His incredible kindness.

And because of His grace. His kindness. His love. We have inherited eternal life.

There is Life after Death

So here’s what I want you to know today. There is life after death. In fact, some of you are already living eternal life because you’ve already died.

In fact, you might say that if you’ve been baptized, you are already living the eternal life because you have already died!

In your baptism, you died with Christ, you were buried in a watery grave & you were resurrected to NEW LIFE. To eternal life!

This is what the baptized life is…

The baptized life is life after death.

That’s why Paul would also write these words in Galatians 2.20…

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

In other words… There is life after death for those who have already died!

Our life after death points other people to Jesus. At least it should. If our life after death isn’t pointing other people to Jesus, then we need to ask the question, are we really living the baptized life?

Because…

To live the baptized life is to live different.

It’s this life, life after death in the here & now, that bears witness to Jesus.

To hear this series click to watch or to listen.

I serve as the Preaching Minister at Riverside Church of Christ in Coppell, TX. I enjoy sports, running, fishing & life with the family. I’ve been in ministry since 1999. My wife Alisha & I have three amazing children, Will, Ella Grace & Emma Love. Thanks for stopping by my blog.