Death And Beyond


Lonely Questions
What is Life?
What is death?
Death and God
> Heaven or hell?
> Can God lose anyone?

Souls and spirits
in the Old Testament

If there is a God why does He allow suffering?
Souls and spirits in the New Testament
Hell fire examined
Can the dead speak to us?
Resurrection hope
Commonly asked questions
‘Be of good comfort’
Understanding and coping with bereavement


What happens when people are drowned at sea or blown up?
Are they lost for always?
This has always been a difficult question for those who are left behind. There can be no proper burial; there is nowhere to go to grieve. It is hard to say goodbye. We feel more at peace when we know what has happened to the one we have lost. There has recently been a story of some young people who had been in a yacht in the North Sea and they did not arrive at their destination. One body was not found for quite some time after the event, but it was reported that the family were so grateful, although grief-stricken, as they now had their son back. They felt a sense of relief and peace. They could have a proper funeral and burial, and say goodbye, knowing where he was. They now knew what had happened to him and he was safe in their memories. They could begin to grieve for their loved one instead of always ‘wondering’. Without seeing the earthly remains, we have always the nagging fear that they may not be found again. Families of the victims of war often have this sense of uncertainty. I know one family who are spending their summer holiday to try and find the records and resting place of their grandfather.

The Bible has a very comforting text that shows that God knows all about our bodies and our personalities. He has a recorded blueprint for each of us from the time of our conception.

Psalm 139:16. ‘Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.’

In the resurrection He can call us to life and we can be remade just as we were before, apart from the scars of disease, accident or age. He will be able to recall those who have died thousands of years ago and who have already become part of the earth - as God said, dust returns to dust. When He resurrected Lazarus, Lazarus was already beginning to return to the earth, and yet he walked out of the tomb healthy and well. With the knowledge of this miracle, we know that God can raise the dead and they can be found again. Those who had been resurrected in Bible times were always recognised by those that knew them; even their voices and their mannerisms were the same. After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, the disciples knew Him by His actions, and Mary recognised His voice in the early dawn. Jesus was real. He was not a spirit. He had a body that could be touched and, to prove that He was not a spirit, He ate bread and honeycomb in front of the disciples.

‘But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have. And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them.’ Luke 24:37-43.

If we have been on the side of God, we shall be resurrected at the time of the Second Coming of Jesus. We shall be living, moving, recognisable people. That is a real consolation for us. God will not lose anyone, not even a little child. In days gone by, stillborn babies were buried in the spaces in the coffin of another person, and families were not told anything about what happened to that baby boy or girl. But Jesus knows every little life that has been conceived. If the mother or father turn to the Lord, their baby will be returned to them in the resurrection. Jesus has kept all the records of every life. He warned that no one should despise little ones, because they have caring angels who are always before the throne of God.

‘Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones, for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.’ Matthew 18:10.

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