Saturday, May 25, 2013

The First Fact of Eternity

Genesis 25:5-8 KJV
And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.
And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.
Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

Abraham died thirty eight years after Sarah and thirty five years after Isaac was married. He left full of years and, as Albert Barnes puts it, "ready and willing to depart." In the prime if life, when the prospect of death is such a frightening thing, it is a relief to know that, for most people anyway, when the time of death comes they are "ready and willing to depart." My experience has been that this is equally true of both believer and unbeliever. It seems also to be true at various ages, depending on circumstances. It appears that combat soldiers reach a state much similar to this. The prospect of death becomes so real that some inner, mechanism, I think a gift from God, allows them to make peace with dying.

But Abraham's story does not end here, and this is what every soul ought to pay attention to, Abraham, the Bible says, was gathered unto his people. Barnes once again writes, "... This, and the like expression in the passage quoted, (Genesis 15:15) give the first fact in the history of the soul after death, as the burial is the first step in that of the body."

See the term, "first fact." Here is the first reference to life after death. Abraham was not gathered to his people in merely the sense of being buried in a common cemetery, but gathered to his people in the sense that they are still alive in another place. Once again Barnes, "... the departed families, from whom he is descended, are still in being in another not less real world."  The soul goes on consciously forever somewhere.

It behooves us to make sure the where. 

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