Wednesday, 08 December 2021

Faith and comfort in life after death

“IS there such a place as heaven?” How can I know for sure?”

“IS there such a place as heaven?” How can I know for sure?”

These are questions that many of us ask when faced with the death of a loved one or faced with our own mortality. Similar questions were asked at the time of David Bowie’s recent death.

Such wistful comments, although understandable, remind me of the words of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:10-11: “I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

For the majority of us, even those who live as practical atheists, there is a longing for eternity that will not disappear.

This was true for Bowie too. In an interview with Tony Parsons (the bestselling novelist and award-winning journalist), he explained that he was not an atheist.

Bowie explained why he had said the Lord’s Prayer at the Freddie Mercury’s tribute concert.

He said: “In rock music, especially in the performance arena, there is no room for prayer but I think so many of the songs people write are prayers. A lot of my prayers seem to be prayer for unity within myself. On a personal level, I have an undying belief in God’s existence. For me it is unquestionable.”

Like many, Bowie showed a great interest in the Bible and in Jesus.

In his interview with Parsons, he explained his collapse into drugs, despair and rampant sex, saying: “I felt totally, absolutely alone. And I probably was alone because I pretty much had abandoned God.”

Even sitting with the bereaved and dying, I am not always able to know where their belief and trust has been.

However, the Bible reminds us all that we are “destined to die once and after that face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Faith in Jesus Christ, who faced judgment on the cross and rose from the dead, is the only way we may be certain of heaven in the end.

You may feel abandoned by God, but Jesus reminds all He has not abandoned us.

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