'If a Man Die, Will He Live Again?'

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Stephen Mandell was frail most of his short life. Finishing high school, he entered New York University to study aeronautical engineering. He made the dean’s list at 23. Stephen loved to read poetry, and he enjoyed photography. When he had the time, he played guitar and became quite a musician.

His life was shaping up quite well except for his health. An intestinal infection continued to trouble him and refused to respond to any kind of medical treatment.

Over time, Stephen’s physical condition worsened, and he grew more concerned about the prospects of dying. He began to wonder how much time he had left.

Grasping for an answer

Stephen avidly read science fiction for years. He had read stories with futuristic themes of scientists devising ways to bring the dead back to life. Then he read about an organization in California, known as the Cryonics Society, that advocates the freezing of human bodies immediately after death to preserve them in case techniques can later be discovered to revive the dead and cure the diseases that killed them.

A little research on Stephen’s part revealed a similar organization in New York, closer to his home. Stephen decided he didn’t have long to live, so he joined the Cryonics Society of New York.

Seven months later the infection sapped the last little strength from his body, and Stephen died. Five members of the society and a mortician hurriedly made arrangements. They drove two hours to the funeral home, where his body was drained of its fluids, then packed in dry ice. Within a few days he was placed in cryonic suspension in a body-sized capsule cooled by liquid nitrogen to 100 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

With several others, Stephen’s body waits, frozen to preserve body and brain as they were when he drew his last breath. Stephen died hoping that science would later find a cure for his disease and restore him to life, then treat the disease and enable him to enjoy a normal, healthy life.

In case of brain damage, a tape recording made while Stephen was alive preserves pertinent information about him. Stephen’s mother said she realized that the possibility of her son’s revivification was remote, “but perhaps it was worth the chance.”

When asked if she would also consider the services of the Cryonics Society, she replied that she “didn’t want another chance at this life.”

The solution to the problem of death

With few exceptions, humans fight-consciously or unconsciously-to live and cling desperately to life. Once I was asked to be with a comatose young boy whose parents had directed his removal from a hospital’s life-support system. We watched the blip on the monitor helplessly as his heart vainly struggled to continue beating.

Sooner or later all of us must face our own mortality. There is no way to cheat death and escape our common fate.

Disease took the lives of Stephen and the young boy whose being I witnessed ebbing away in the hospital that day. But the time is coming when they will live again. Their waking to new life will not happen the way they imagined. It won’t be the result of technological advances by scientists or doctors seeking a way to revive frozen corpses.

It will be because a great, life-giving God calls them forth from the dust of the earth and restores them by the miracle of resurrection!

We are not products of some evolutionary accident fated to grope around for answers to life’s problems and pains. We are the result of the planning and power of Almighty God, the Being who created this astounding universe and everything in it.

How God reveals humanity’s future

The Bible, the Word of our Creator, informs us that He wants to share His life with us. He wants us to become His children, a part of His family with His divine nature. In that Book of Books that graces bookshelves and coffee tables but is little read, He describes the incredible feat of resurrection.

The Bible describes seven yearly festivals God gave us to celebrate. Sadly, few even know of the existence of these festivals, and fewer understand their spiritual significance and symbolism. Instead, most celebrate a set of holidays that are found nowhere in the Bible.

One of these God-given festivals, the Feast of Trumpets, foreshadows a time when Jesus Christ will return to crime-ridden, war-torn planet Earth and a great resurrection of the dead will take place.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16 1 Thessalonians 4:16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
American King James Version×
, emphasis added throughout).

The “dead in Christ” are those who have genuinely turned to Christ for salvation and humbly submitted themselves to Him in true repentance.

Paul wrote of this time in his letter to the Corinthian church: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound , and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
American King James Version×
).

Resurrection at the last trumpet

The last book of the Bible speaks of earth-shaking events at the time of the end of the age. “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Revelation 11:15 Revelation 11:15And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
American King James Version×
).

Notice that resurrected Christians are caught up in the air with Christ. “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17 1 Thessalonians 4:17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
American King James Version×
).

Christ’s followers whom God will resurrect at Christ’s return will awaken to an exciting and productive life. They will live again to work with Christ in bringing order to earth and making it a wonderful place to live. In time it will become like the Garden of Eden. God has in mind rewarding, exciting responsibilities for His saints in this first resurrection. “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:12 Revelation 22:12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
American King James Version×
).

Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:20-21 Revelation 3:20-21 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
American King James Version×
: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

To those who voluntarily submit to His rule in their lives now, Jesus Christ offers to share His rule of the earth. Those resurrected at Christ’s return will be made “to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10 Revelation 5:10And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
American King James Version×
, New International Version). He will give them the opportunity to be leaders and educators in this exciting new age.

There’s much more to the story!

This is only part of the story. The days God instructed us to keep depict God’s plan, which includes the promise of still another resurrection of everyone who has ever died, including babies and other children and all who never understood the wonderful spiritual truth of the Bible (Ezekiel 37).

Jesus Christ Himself verified this is so: “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice” (John 5:28 John 5:28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
American King James Version×
).

The serpent in the Garden of Eden subtly sold Adam and Eve on the idea that God’s instructions aren’t necessarily the best way. The two ancestors of all mankind bought into Satan’s idea. Since then, the devil’s deception has cloaked the earth with spiritual blindness (Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version×
).

People who never heard of Christ

Thus, down through the millennia, many thousands of millions of people have died, having never heard about the true God and our Savior Jesus Christ. Billions have been born over the centuries in lands where a Bible was never seen.

None of these people could determine their place of birth or choose whether to hear and consider the truth preached in the name of Jesus Christ, the only “name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 Acts 4:12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
American King James Version×
).

Men and women in such circumstances have never yet experienced an opportunity for salvation. But they will. Our loving God will resurrect them into a world in which the knowledge of God will cover the earth like the waters cover the ocean beds. “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14 Habakkuk 2:14For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
American King James Version×
).

God will remove the veil of spiritual blindness separating humanity from His saving knowledge, and these resurrected humans will enjoy their first opportunity to know Him. “And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 25:7-8 Isaiah 25:7-8 7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD has spoken it.
American King James Version×
).

Fact, not just speculation

The resurrection is not some unproved theory. It has already happened once. Jesus Christ died, was buried and was raised to life again by His Father. Christ’s first disciples were witnesses that Jesus’ resurrection did occur; they walked and talked to Him face to face after they had witnessed His execution. They were so convinced by what they saw that most of them gave their lives in martyrdom for that same sure hope.

The reality of resurrection has been demonstrated. Jesus Christ is the firstborn from the dead: “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:18 Revelation 1:18I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
American King James Version×
).

He is the prototype and the source. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26 John 11:25-26 25 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Believe you this?
American King James Version×
).

Then Jesus asks, “Do you believe this?” Do we believe Jesus when He promises that His followers will live again?

Stephen Mandell and the young comatose boy I saw die didn’t understand the certainty of the resurrection of the dead. There are those who believe this life is all there is. They seek to squeeze every drop of pleasure and good times from their few tenuous years on earth. Is life meant to be only a span of time between two eternities, a brief spark of life with an infinity of nothingness on either end of it?

Learn about your awesome future

The Bible reveals a far greater future for mankind, and all the reveling and pleasure we could possibly stuff into our few short years cannot possibly approach the true happiness God has in store for us.

If you are convicted of this truth, you can more easily keep your priorities straight. You won’t need to be distracted by the lesser concerns of this life.

You can live boldly with the knowledge of God’s sure promise, that your Redeemer lives and that you will see Him on the last day.

Write for our free booklet God’s Holy Day Plan-The Promise of Hope for All Mankind to learn more about God’s festivals and what they reveal about God’s plan for all humanity, both the living and the dead.

Better yet, attend one of our festival sites and hear it in person while following along in the pages of your Bible. You can get in touch with one of our ministers through the address in the front of this magazine.