“Nothing!” Really?

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“In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye…” -1 Corinthians 15:52, Luke 16:19-31, and Luke 23:43


Take one final breath, and no more air fills your lungs. What then? What is the next thought, next sight, next feeling, if there is one, or is there just nothing? With no experience whatsoever from which to derive your answer, some folk, nevertheless, have what they feel is a pretty certain answer of what does or does not occur. Many others are not so sure. Some say they haven’t thought much about it, though I rather doubt it. Only those who never think, of which there must be few, are content to remain oblivious. However, this is not something to remain oblivious about.

Some quickly declare an answer. They seem to be certain the right answer really is “nothing!” I recently read a review of a book entitled A Meaning to Life by Michael Ruse, an atheist professor who has written or edited over 50 books. He says, “You are born. You live. Then you die. If you don’t think so, then you should! We come from an eternity of oblivion; we return to an eternity of oblivion.”

There are many who say such, like when I asked an elderly friend of mine, “What do you think will happen when you die?” He responded, “Nothing! Absolutely nothing!” Well, if you think that, you might as well sing the song, “Is that all there is?”

I have a very hard time understanding unobserving, non-musing, non-curious absence of thinking about this end-of-life moment as well as the meaning and purpose of all of life. The whole creation shouts the existence of meaningfulness, of purpose, of intelligent design, of a Creator who obviously delights in beauty, color, intricacies, diversity, magnificence. What do we have to do with this Creator of ours and of our home? Did all the extensiveness of creation, the wonder of it, the infinity of all which is really arise from pure chance plus a whole lot of time?

There is nothing in creation which actually shouts such randomness, chance, disorder, and unconnected spontaneity, or no plan and no planner. This really suggests a brainwashing of those who think this. Though there is no rationality to it, they are saying, “This is what I myself choose to believe; I believe it primarily because I deny the existence of God, the God who says He is, the only observable, very evident reason for all which exists.” His deniers look at the created universe and still shout, “No God” all in the face of His imprint on everything.

This suggests to me a real brainwashing and obviously, then, the existence of a brainwasher. And such a brainwasher there most certainly is; Jesus refers to him as “the father of lies” in Scripture. He is the great, intentional deceiver. He is the only explanation for the greatest deceit of all: that Earth, the Universe, all existence, everything sprang from nothing with no explanation or plausible reason for any initiating “spark” in something, by something, out of nothing, to give explanation to all you see.

And even though the Universe, scientists tell us, is moving inexorably outward from some unknown center, it truly is moving. Where? Matter with no meaning, mind, or intelligent designer creates by chance matter, acting upon itself, creating what we now observe. Is this the definition of inanity?

It is a great leap of faith, in my mind, to believe it. Such is just irrational thought! But it follows the plan of the great deceiver, telling you there is no God, there is no Creator, there is no infinite Mind. Psalm 14 consequently declares this truth to you: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”

There is only this simple dichotomy before the eyes of mankind: God is, or He isn’t. If He is as He has declared Himself through His revelation – a revelation written over a span of 1500 years by a host of believing authors – there really is a next thought, next sight, and next feeling after your final breath. If He is not, against all evidence to the contrary, then your last breath means oblivion, annihilation, nothing, and this forever.

This, therefore, is your most serious question, and it invites the equally serious question: What do I have to do with God, and what does He have to do with me? What will be my first thought, sight, and feeling when breathing my last? Will it be nothing, will it be terror, or will it be joy?

You can know the answer to that before you take your last breath. In fact, you must know the answer to it before you enter eternity. The believer immediately says, with the certainty of his faith, “My eyes, in the time an eye twinkles, will feast on Jesus.” Nothing can produce greater joy!


“While I draw this fleeting breath, when mine eyelids close in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see Thee on Thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee.”

(Fourth verse of Augustus Toplady’s hymn, “Rock of Ages,” 1776)

 

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Stephen Leonard

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