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8/31/16 – “To be or not to be” – a question concerning existence after life

Published: Wednesday, 31 August 2016 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  John 17:2-3

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  1 John 3:2

"To be, or not to be" is one of the most widely known and quoted lines in modern English.  A rough interpretation would be to say "whether to continue, or not to continue [existence]."

The Bible verses above answer Shakespeare’s question.  YES!  There is life after death.  There are all kinds of opinions on what this “life after death” looks like.  No one knows for sure except for an eyewitness who has returned from the dead.  Christianity has the only belief that has an eyewitness.  Jesus arose from the grave and was seen by over 500 witnesses after His physical death.  Therefore, I rely totally on the words of Christ when He speaks of what life after death will be like.  The following is one aspect that requires some deep thought for all Christians.  You will become everything God intended when you are in His Presence.

 

I want to say this as clearly as I can even though it is a very challenging thought for us.  God considers our lives on this earth as momentary.  He considers our life in heaven as eternal.  At the same time, our eternal life is to know God and Christ. When we get to heaven, we will experience the full existence of God.  It will be nothing like living on earth.  This world is like looking into a deep well and seeing only darkness.  We will not “live” in heaven; instead, we will have a full and complete existence in heaven.  This is why it is necessary to receive a new glorified body so that we can exist in the presence of Existence itself.

When you read 1 John 3:2, the Bible clearly states that we, Believers, will be like Jesus.  Other verses that refer to Believers becoming like God are the following:  Ephesians 4:24; Philippians 2:15; and James 3:9.  This is a difficult concept to wrap my head around until I recall how God and Jesus identified themselves to human beings as follows: 

 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”  Exodus 3:14

 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”  John 8:58

This made be think about living life in this world and living the eternal life that God will give us.  The Bible defines eternal life as “knowing God and Jesus Christ.”  It is difficult for me to draw the conclusion that we will be “living” eternal life in heaven.  Instead, eternal life will make living life in this world insignificant.  When we become like Christ, we will “be” in the presence of “I am”.  Therefore, our being has more meaning to eternal life than “living” eternal life.  In other words, the true existence of who God originally intended for us to be will be our eternal life.  I think this is why there will be no more crying, or sin, or death in heaven.  The memories of our life on earth will flow into the depths of our mind to be covered over completely with the astounding knowledge of “being” in the existence of God.  We will truly be able to comprehend existence as never before.  When I was writing this, several spiritual truths became more entrenched in my life.  I hope this happens to you as you mediate on “BEING” in heaven with “I Am”.  It will be your existence to the maximum.

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