In the last 3 months, I have spoken at 5 different funeral services. Each service was different from the other, but the pain and the tears were all the same. Families and friends mourning and attempting to comfort each other over the loss of their loved ones. Although we are all aware of the inevitability of death, it is never easy losing someone you love and care about – no matter when, no matter where, and no matter how that person departs this world. However, most people believe their loved ones are in a “Better Place” after death. People use the term “R.I.P” (rest in peace or power) quite often as they celebrate the life of someone they have lost and mourn their departure from this world. That belief is filled with hope as it empowers people to grieve better, knowing that their deceased loved ones are at peace and in a better place.
            Even among non-believers, there is a fundamental belief that death is not final. Although there maybe sharp disagreements regarding what lies beyond death, phrases like “They are in a better place,” or “Rest in Peace” denotes the idea of some type of belief in the afterlife – a life beyond this metaphysical one, and that is because the soul will live on. We are more than just flesh and blood. In the Bible, Job asked this poignant question: “If someone dies, will they live again?” (Job 14:14). A question that science and logical human reasoning cannot answer. Please, allow me to offer a brief biblical perspective. According to scripture, death happens when the soul departs from the body (Genesis 35:18). The soul is the very essence of man, it is the breath of life that God places inside of us as living beings (Genesis 2:7). When all biological function that sustains human organism permanently cease, the soul returns to its creator (Ecclesiastes 12: 6-7). Everyone understands the human body is nothing but dust and eventually will turn to dust after death, whether through cremation or burial. However, the soul lives on because no one and nothing can destroy it except for God who created it (Matthew 10:28).
            Now, one must ask: “Where does the soul live on?” It saddens me to say, not everyone who dies will be in a “Better Place” or “Resting in Peace.” The soul will live on either in Heaven or in hell. In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus talked about two men who died and were buried but their souls lived on in two different places. One of them was not resting in peace, he was in torments and in agony. Jesus sacrificially offers himself as the only way to know for sure that our soul will rest in peace (John 14:6, Matthew 11: 28-29). Your soul will live on, but where?

Posted in Donny's Corner.