How do you convince someone that, through Jesus, there’s life after death? Especially if the person is a character who believes in tangible facts and figures?” Looking forward to hearing from you soon,
It is very difficult to make a “logical” case that life continues after death. Certainly we cannot use physical/scientific arguments to “prove” that life continues after death. If we are simply an animal, whose only reality is chemicals and electrical signals, then, obviously, there is no life after death. As a PhD scientist, obviously I believe in “tangible facts and figures.” However, belief in the reality of tangible facts and figures does not logically preclude belief in a spiritual reality. I would count myself among the many who believe in both. In order to believe that there is life after physical death we must establish that humans have a spiritual nature–that they have a soul. There are a number of logical arguments for the existence of the soul. The philosopher DesCartes was one of the strongest and most convicing advocates for dualism–the idea that we have both a body and a mind/spirit, and that our essential nature is not our body but our mind and our soul.
To be honest, I do NOT believe this kind of logical/philosophical argument is the most convincing argument for life after death. I believe the strongest argument for life after death is based on the inspiration and authority of the Bible. Like God tells us through the Hebrew writer, “Faith is belief in things unseen.” (Hebrews 11:1) I believe in life after death because the inspired Word of God tells me that there will be a Judgment Day, heaven and hell. I believe in life after death because Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11). I believe in life after death because of the overwhelming evidence in support of the resurrection of Jesus. There is an extensive argument for the certaintly of the resurrection of Jesus in my book “Reasons for Belief” (www.ipibooks.com), as well as an outline and power point on the resurrection in the power point section of my web site (www.evidenceforchristianity.org). The indisputable facts are that Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, that his tomb was empty and that there were hundreds of eye-witnesses to his resurrection. This tells me that there is life after death. Jesus, who lived a perfect life and who performed hundreds of incontrovertible miracles, said, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3). I believe in life after death. That belief is based on reasonable thinking, but even more based on faith in Jesus and in the inspiration of the Bible.
To quote Paul, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: WE will not all sleep, but we wil all be changed–in a flash, in teh twinkiling of an eye, at teh last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the impershable and the mortal with immortality.” (1 Cor 15:51-53). If you read 1 Corinthians 15, the evidence for this is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, as proved by more than 500 eye-witnesses, which Paul could say “most of whom are still living.” There are logical arguments for life after death based on the reality of human consciousness, spirit and soul, but the strongest argument for life after death is reasonable faith in the power of Jesus and in the inspiration of the Bible.