Your body will die, but you are more than your body. You are spirit and you are life from God, created to live forever. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) We are all created for a unique place in heaven. “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
When someone we love dies, even those who live a full life in this world and pass away in old age, we grieve for the loss of them. We cherish our memories and honor what impact for good they had in the world. For some who find it difficult to believe in the afterlife, it can be a very sad time, presuming that the departed have dissipated out of existence, never to be seen again. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Since we were created by an eternal God, we actually can sense deep within ourselves that we will never die. Many people instinctively know that there is life after death, not because they desire it to be so, but because deep within, at the core of their being, they sense it. This perception is built right into us. Can you get in touch with it? I know that I have little doubt about the reality of the afterlife. I feel it. I sense it. I have experienced so many glimpses of it, or have been so miraculously touched by it that I cannot doubt. I can have some question as to where I might end up, but I do not question that the other world is real. Perhaps you have that sense too. Swedenborg put it this way, “I have seen, I have heard, I have felt.” (Arcana Caelestia 68)
A lot of people have seen, heard, felt. Studies have been done on countless individuals all over the world who have had a near-death experience. It has been estimated that millions upon millions have had some sort of contact with an afterlife when close to death themselves. Skeptics may call this experience wishful thinking. But people of all faiths, even no faith, have reported the same things again and again and again, both young and old, of every culture and background. They wake up happy, healthy, and whole. They see relatives and friends. They experience a beautiful light. Those who have been clinically dead for a longer time see cities of light, beautiful countryside, angels. What is very interesting is that most of what is reported by those who have had the near-death experience was also reported by Emanuel Swedenborg of his experiences some two hundred years before scientists discovered such a thing. This too is reflected again and again in the Bible as Jesus assures us that we live on.
But concerning the resurrection of the dead – have you not read what was spoken to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Matthew 22:31-32