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Opening THE Book with Rev John K-S October 2020


Rev John Kinchin-Smith
Assistant Minister, St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston


What happens when we die? Is this the only life? Is there life after death? Does heaven exist? If so, what’s it like? How can I know that I will go there? I guess all of us ask these questions or others like them at some time or another – maybe especially so in the face of the coronavirus pandemic or the death of a loved one. A story’s told of an aggressive atheist who accosted a preacher. “You believe in eternal life?” The preacher had no time to reply. “Well, it’s a load of rubbish!” shouted the atheist. “I believe in science, evolution, survival of the fittest, and when we die, that’s it! Caput! Finito!” He laboured his point tirelessly. “Eternal life, ha!!” he spat, as his monologue reached its climax, “Trash! When I die I am utterly convinced that will be the end of me!” “Thank God for that” said the preacher

At the beginning of this series of articles I wrote, “I hope you might give the Bible a try – and then, like me, discover that it’s the most true and trustworthy book in the world – more true and trustworthy than anything or anyone else in the world”.  And last month we learned that the Bible teaches that it is in Jesus that we see God’s nature and character most fully and perfectly revealed. It is interesting to note that belief in life after death was a comparatively late development in the history of Israel, although there are a number of passages which speak of this in the centuries before Jesus. We will look at these later. And so we find that even in the time of Jesus, there were those who did not believe in life after death – a party known as the Sadducees. And there was an important party who firmly believed in life after death – known as the Pharisees. We find something of this debate in Luke chapter 20 verses 27-39

OPEN BIBLEIt is in this same passage from the Gospel of Luke that we find Jesus giving us clear teaching about the life to come. And if it is true that in Jesus we meet with God’s character and nature most fully and perfectly revealed, then we can trust totally what Jesus says. Next month we will continue to discover what the Bible teaches us about the life to come
also published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine


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