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Introduction to June's Issue:
Life After Death

Rev. Mark Connolly

One of the greatest lines in any novel or story is that written in the work of Lourdes and the story of St. Bernadette. Concerning Lourdes, the author said to those who have faith, no explanation is necessary; to those who do not have faith, no explanation will satisfy. And this rhetoric can be applied to the subject of life after this life is over. The subject of death and resurrection, the subject of what kind of a lifestyle we will have in the place called heaven is always going to be a mystery to us as long as we are on the other side of heaven, namely earth.

This subject of life after death has been debated for centuries. We have the guarantee of Christ that he had to prepare a place for those who served him on earth. He told us that he would not leave us orphans and that if we believed in him, even though we might be dead, that he would raise us up on the last day. Scripture is filled with reminders of a life after this one on earth. "God gave his only son so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life "(John 3:16). Everyone who believes has eternal life.

Reading and researching this subject of life after life on earth you soon find out that those who believe in the life and teaching of Christ, those who are anchored to God and live by faith and trust, do not have too many problems with this subject. Those who do not believe in Christ, those who do not have that sense of trust and faith in Him and his teachings, are always going to have problems with this subject of life after life on earth.

In the field of scripture and theology, this subject has been discussed for centuries. For the group that maintains that there is not enough evidence to prove a life after this one, there are also just as many that vehemently talk about the Heaven and the eternal life that awaits them.

Outside the field of Scripture and theology, there are many who in their own personal lives have come to the conclusion that there is a happier and better life than the one we now have. Edward Albee, the author of the work "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe", talked about a place he would go to after his life was over. He said he would leave his friends for greater friends. He would leave this home for a better home. And one day, with the personal revelation he received from the Scriptures, he would go out beyond the stars, out beyond the planet Mars into the Kingdom of God.

Now there is no questions he did not have the Semitic language background needed to a meaningful research on the Bible. He probably had very little formal theological knowledge necessary for formal study of the Bible. But he had a revelation from God that gave him an insight into the future life he was going to have with God and that was all he needed. There is no question about the need for greater Scriptural and theological studies on the subject of the afterlife.

If you read the Divine Comedy by Dante, he told us that the Eternal life was inexpressible. It was so beautiful he wrote,

"High phantasy lost power and here broke off.
Yet, as a wheel moves smoothly, -
free from jars
My will and my desire were turned by love,
The love that moves the sun and the other stars."

Karl Jung knew that this problem of life after death had a sad influence on many of his patients especially those who had no sense of belief. He said that because so many had no answer to this overwhelming problem of life after death that their lives often seems "meaningless" to them. Jung made it very clear that we became sick when we ignore these hints of another world and another life. He expressed his knowledge that our lives find fulfillment in a non-physical dimension and that we must prepare now for the steps to come. Death, he suggested, is actually a goal towards which we can strive and shrinking away from it is something unhealthy and abnormal which robs the second half of life of its purpose.

Anyone reading this article can fundamentally do what I did in writing it. Reading and research, coming forth with all kinds of opinions, might give us a greater insight into the subject of life beyond this earth. But the reality of life after death is not only what you discover in reading and research. The great reality of this problem is your trust, your faith and hope in a Christ who could never deceive.

When he told us that he was the resurrection and the life and that if we believed we would have eternal life, he was giving us an answer to this age old problem of life after earth.

What can be said of this problem is that which was said of Lourdes, for those who believe, no explanation is necessary; to those who do not believe, no explanation is satisfying.

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