Every Sunday people all over the world recite the Apostles’ Creed during the service. During that special moment in our worship service we affirm, “I believe in the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.” This is a very important declaration that has been made by the church throughout history – The belief in the life after death.
We have been experiencing so many deaths in our churches, in our communities, in our country, and in our world, that I firmly believe that we should not avoid talking about this subject. Even though people, sometimes, do not like to talk about it, they still have their beliefs on this topic.
I would like to share with you some results of a survey by the Barna Research Group:
81% believe in an afterlife of some sort.
9% said life after death may exist.
10% contend that there is no form of life after one dies on earth.
79% agreed with the statement “every person has a soul that will live forever, either in God’s presence or absence.”
As you can see, the majority believes that there is some sort of afterlife. They just are not sure what kind it is. It is interesting that people believe, but are not sure. They have many doubts about what is going to happen after we die.
That is the biggest challenge that we face, when we have that doubt it will produce fear and insecurity about our destiny. Our beliefs become just a wishful thinking. We can only hope for the best.
We are not alone in this kind of feeling. In the New Testament there was a church that was facing this same struggle. Because of that Paul wrote a letter to them to help to elucidate those doubts. They were not sure about their final destination. They wanted to know what happened with their loved ones that died. Paul, then, decided to help them to understand things about the life everlasting.
Here is the text: “ Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.
 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
 Therefore encourage each other with these words. 1Thessalonians 4: 13-18.”
This text is extremely rich about this topic. It is so rich that we will come back to it again in the weeks to come.
In Brazil we have a proverb that goes like this: “Para morrer basta estar vivo.”The best translation would be: “All you need to die is to be alive.” It means that you cannot do anything about death, the only thing that you can do is to be alive. Death will find us all.
This is why it is so important to be sure that what you confess in the Apostles’ Creed reflects the belief of your heart.
Have a blessed week,