For our short message this morning, I would like to speak on the topic,"Life After Death", based on the text which is found in 1 Corinthians. 15:44, which says:"It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is natural body, and there is a spiritual body."
Speaking on this topic, "Life After Death", I would like to say first of all that there are two things to be taken for consideration.
First, death here refers only to physical death. I am not referring at all to the so-called spiritual death. All what I would like to say here about death is the death of the flesh.
Second, I would like to point out that if I speak now on "Life After Death", I am referring only to the life after death of those who are in Jesus Christ. I don't intend to say something about life after death of those who are not in Christ Jesus, those who do not believe and accept Jesus Christ.
"Life After Death" is one of the doctrines of our Church. In fact, we strongly believe that beyond the grave, life continues to exist.
In our nation, as perhaps, in other nations too, many do not believe in life after death. For instance, when I was talking with an old man one time, he brought out the idea that the perfect joy of life is here on earth. " When we die", he said, "we can no longer enjoy life, because the perfect joy of life is here on earth, and ends in the grave."
Brethren, if we do not believe in life after death, I think our present life would be meaningless. And so it is my feeling that in the light of the Scriptures we shall try to see what life after death is.
A.) An idea on " Life After Death" is found on the book of Mr. Clarence Larkin, "Dispensational Truth". In this book, Mr. Larkin said that those who are in Christ, when they die, their physical bodies go down into the grave, but their spirits, in a disembodied condition, exists in an intermediary place. The physical bodies, at the Second Coming, will be resuscitated, and their spirits will return back to their respective bodies in order that they could appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
This idea was also in the mind of St. Augustine at the end of the 4th century and it was elaborated by Dr. John Makintosh Shaw in his book, Christian Doctrine. He said, "There are implications and suggestions manifesting that, a body that has gone down into the grave, and undergone corruption, after indefinite interval of time, will somehow be raised again and reunited with the soul or spirit."
This is the idea of St. Augustine regarding life after death. But, I would like to make it clear right at this moment that this is not the kind of "life after death" that I would like to believe.
B.) The "life after death" that I would like to believe, preach and teach, is not a disembodied life, but an embodied life. It is a continuance of a fuller, truer, and worthier form of existence than the present life.
A person who is in Christ, when he dies, his physical body will go down into the grave and will be corrupted. But the spirit or soul will immediately have a body or organ of expression and activity in that spiritual world. But it will be a very different kind of body from the physical body. In other words, the spirit or soul that has separated from the physical body will immediately be clothed with a glorified body, which will now be more fitted to that spiritual world which God has prepared for the redeemed.
This idea I believe, was what the great Apostle Paul meant in his resurrection chapter in 1 Corinthians 1. He said," It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body."
Dr. Shaw in his Christian Doctrine, has a very vivid explanation on this point, and I would like to quote him, "The seed sown in the ground springs up in a strikingly different fuller and larger, form of a life, so we may will expect that by the working of His spirit or the spirit of the risen, living Christ, in the believer, redeemed life will become equipped with a body or organism very different from that of earth, a body fitted to the more spiritual conditions of the future life as the body of earth in to the more material conditions of the present."
In the light of these words, we could fairly understand that, when a believer dies a physical death, the Spirit of the risen Son of God in his redeemed life will immediately equip him with a body that no longer dies, which would be fitted to a more spiritual conditions of a spiritual world. This is the kind of life after death that I would like to believe, preach and teach in all days of my ministry, God being my helper.
And I would like to believe also that this is the kind of "life after death" that (Jeanne Ann) is now enjoying in the sight of her living God. Whether you like it or not (Jeanne Anne) has gone home ahead of us. She has gone home to that place where "there will be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither will there be any more pain...". She has gone home to that heavenly kingdom where God himself will wipe away all tears in her eyes, a place where she could now hear the words of Jesus saying to her: "Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world".
Jeanne Anne has departed from us, but we shall see her again in that beautiful land. She is there waiting for us----- to be reunited with us again. Amen.
(Delivered at The Methodist Church of Candon, Ilocos Sur in 1966 during the funeral service of Jeanne Anne _____________________) .