Question:,Is this world real or maya? Will there be an end? Will there be any hereafter?,Answer,First of all, I deeply apologize for such a delayed response. I have gotten behind with the new semester.,The answer will depend on your world view. If you accept the Hindu or the Buddhist or the Jaina worldview, then you believe the physical world is not truly real–that it is an illusion–that it is “maya.” The Bible teaches something very different. According to the Bible, this world is very real. It is no illusion. When God finished the work of creation, he said that his creation was good,that it was very good (Genesis 1:28).,The faith statements of Hinduism and Christianity are just that. The Bible states on its own authority that the world is real. What conclusion you reach is a matter of both observation/common sense and faith. In other words, even if you own observation tells you that this world is real (that is what my senses tell me!!), as a Hindu, you may put faith in your scriptures and accept by faith that it is an illusion–that the only reality is the spiritual world of atman and brahman. Conversely, if you are a Christian, even if you wonder if this world is real, you will accept by faith in the authority of the Bible that it is nevertheless real.,So, I cannot decide this question for you. You need to ask what your senses tell you, but you also need to look at the question from the perspective of the authority of religious scripture. As a Christian, I am absolutely convinced that the Bible is inspired by God. Therefore, I believe that the world is real. By the way, one of the reasons I am attracted to the Bible is that it accepts what is obvious to me, which is that this world is real! You need to face this question for yourself.,On the second question, faith is required even more so. What I mean is that my senses help me to answer the question of whether this world is real, but they do not help me to predict whether there is life after death. In fact, by observations tend to tell me that there is NO life after death. Physical appearances tell me that when we die, our bodies decay and that is the end. However, I take, BY FAITH, based on the statements in the Bible that this world is not all there is. There will be a life after death. There will be a hereafter. There are hundreds of passages in the Bible, mainly in the New Testament which make this claim. Revelation 21-22 is one place to start.,Remember, though, that I believe in the hereafter by faith. In order to address this question, you need to look at the Bible and ask yourself, based on fulfilled prophecy, consistency and other evidence, whether it is indeed inspired and therefore authoritative.,As with the first question, I have shared what my faith tells me, but you must investigate these questions and reach your own conclusion.,John Oakes, PhD

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