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Life After Death

by Rev. Fr Mathews Poozhikolel

Is there a life after death? Why should we pray for the departed souls? I would like to say few words on the above most disputed subject based on the Holy Bible.

Man is unique among all creatures in that he has the inherent capability to think about the future. Everyone born into this world has a time to live and a time to die. From the moment we begin to live we also begin to die. If a man dies shall he live again? Is there a life on the other side of the grave?

“Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” (Isaiah 26:19). “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:2-3). “Verily, verily I say unto you, the hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live” (St.John 5:25).

The above words of God clearly tell us that there is life after death and that it will become a reality when Jesus comes again.

Let us see what St. Paul tells us about the life after death. “If the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:11). The resurrection of a believer in God is a reality. So we should pray for the departed souls. He also says that ”If there is no resurrection of the dead then the Christ not risen; and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14).

In Mathew 10:28 we read that “Fear not them which kill the body; but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”. Through the above words Jesus tells us that men may kill the body but they cannot kill the soul. The most important part of the human being ‘the soul’ survives even after the body dies.

Read the following words of God to understand what will happen after death and our responsibilities towards the departed relatives.

”Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise”.
St.Luke 23:43

“Naomi said unto her daughter in law, blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead”.
Ruth 2:20

“By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison”.
1 Peter 3:19

“They took their bones and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days”.
1 Samuel 31:13

“Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died; his eyes was not dim nor his natural force abated. And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended”.
Deuteronomy 34:7-8

The above verses from the Old and New Testaments give us very relevant information about the existence of life after death and that the grave is not the end. Therefore, we pray for the departed souls who died in Christ and the prayer at the time of funeral and prayer for the departed souls are fully based on the Holy Bible.

Let us Praise the Lord and May God Bless us all

See Also:

What Do You Know Of Christ?
The world is hurrying to its final goal. The end of all things has come near. Every devout and religiously interested person knows that Christ is coming again. The ignorant will be dismayed because they have neglected Christ and His true power.

The Last Judgment
No one is so patient and so merciful as God, but even He does not forgive those who do not repent. The God of love is also a God of righteousness, and when Christ comes again in glory, He will come as our Judge. This is the message of Lent to each of us: turn back while there is still time, repent before the End comes.

Isaiah 53: The Lamb of God
More than 2,500 years ago, God revealed the greatest message in history to the Hebrew prophet Isaiah. In chapter 53 of the book that bears his name, Isaiah unveils God’s message of salvation to the world, and in so doing, he reveals the identity of the Messiah – the Lamb of God who would lay down His life as an offering for the world’s sins.

Hunger of the Spirit
It is impossible for us to bring life into one who is spiritually dead.  We must wait upon the Lord on our knees, begging and beseeching that He will bring life, breath, and food.  We cannot give a spiritual blessing to our own souls, but must wait upon the Lord to give that blessing in due season.

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About The Author:

Poozhikolel Mathews Achen.
Vicar, St: George Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, Kuwait

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