Journey Into Eternity
Search for Immortality
By Grant R. Jeffrey
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. The Universal Belief in Immortality
Chapter 3. The Challenge of Death
Chapter 4. Near Death Experiences
Chapter 5. Death-Bed Visions
Chapter 6. Scientific Evidence of Immortality
Chapter 7. Evidence Christ's Resurrection
Chapter 8. What Happens The Moment You Die?
Chapter 9. God's Promise of Resurrection
Chapter 10. Jesus' Testimony about Hell
Chapter 11 Heaven - The Greatest Promise Ever Made
Chapter 12. Your Journey Into Eternity
Will we live again? Or, does our life end forever at the grave? If we
live again, what is the nature of our existence when this life on earth
is through? Will we retain our memories and will we remember our personal
identity from this life? These questions arise in the minds of almost
every one of us when we contemplate our own death. This book will explore
the question of our personal immortality in the light of the astonishing
new medical and scientific discoveries of the last several decades, as
well as the powerful truths revealed by the Scriptures about the nature
of our personal journey toward immortality. The remarkable evidence explored
in this book will demonstrate that we are all on a personal journey into
eternity. We are destined to live forever in an immortal body, and that
our eternal life offers possibilities finer than all our dreams.
Over three and a half thousand years ago the patriarch Job struggled with
the issue of immortality when he asked the most profound question that
faces every one of us, "If a man die, shall he live again?" (Job 14:14).
The answer to this enduring question has perplexed humans during the many
thousands of years of man's existence.
Anyone who seriously considers the matter must be deeply concerned to
find the answer to this vital question. Do we simply live our allotted
life span of seventy or so years and then expire forever? Or, is there
something fundamental in every human spirit that yearns for immortality?
Was this sense of immortality and longing for meaning installed in our
soul by God to teach humanity that our spirits were created to live in
two worlds -- this earthly world, and then, the life to come? This profound
question has troubled the hearts and minds of all people in every nation,
culture, and religion throughout recorded history. The question of life
after death has provoked serious discussion and debate in all societies.
Humanity instinctively recoils from the idea that our life and personal
identity ends forever when our body is finally laid to rest in the grave.
Everyone of us stands each hour on a razors edge between the mortal and
the immortal. Each moment we face the issues of life, death, and eternity,
constantly liable to be removed from the one state into the other. The
most important question we face is whether we can discover and demonstrate
with certainty that our human spirit will continue to exist consciously
after our body has died.
Many questions naturally occur when we consider the issues of life, death,
and immortality. What is death? Why must we die? Will we live again after
we die? Or, does our consciousness cease forever when our physical body
stops breathing and later returns to the dust from which we came? If we
do live forever, what is the nature of our immortal life? Is there a judgment
and reward that is based on our good or evil deeds? And, does it matter
what we believe? What happens to us immediately after we die? Will we
be aware of those still left on earth? Is there really a Heaven to yearn
for and a Hell to fear?
It is significant that the oldest book in the Bible, the book of Job,
addresses this vital question, "If a man die, shall he live again?" There
is no other philosophical or religious question that could possibly be
more fascinating or ultimately more important to each of us than the question
of the final destiny of our conscious soul following our death. We live
in a world that daily witnesses the passage from life into death of literally
millions of souls throughout the world. It is only natural that every
human pauses momentarily when a funeral procession passes, pondering the
eternal question: "My body also will someday be placed in the grave; but
what will happen to Me --- What will happen to my soul when I die?"
Imagine if we should encounter a person who has actually died and returned
to life days later to reveal the truth about what happens at death to
the spirits of all humans, both those who repent of their sins, and those
who die in total rejection of God's mercy. What questions would we ask?
Perhaps the following questions would interest us:
What did you feel at that exact moment when you were dying?
What occurred in the moments immediately following death?
Did you encounter angelic emissaries when you died?
What was the nature of your spiritual body after you died?
Did you see Jesus, God, or anyone else you recognized after death?
What is the truth about Heaven, Hell, and the condition of the departed
saints in Paradise?
Throughout this book we will explore intriguing research
from nature, medicine, and psychology, as well as the fascinating discoveries
of modern science that strongly indicate that our personal consciousness
does indeed survive the death of our body. Experiments in which hamsters
have died in a laboratory, and returned to life after four hours, raise
provocative questions about the reality and timing of death. Medical reports
about the clinical death of patients who later returned to life after
prolonged hours with no brain function or life signs raise additional
questions about when death actually occurs, and raise the possibility
that our spirit may be able to exist for some time separate from our physical
Finally we will reach a point where philosophy, medicine, nature, and
science have revealed their truth --- there is a strong probability that
our individual consciousness does survive death. Is there any way we possibly
discover more detailed information about life after death than this? Fortunately,
when nature and science are finally silent, the voice of God speaks clearly
to us through His written revelation --- recorded by forty-four human
authors over sixteen centuries, inspired by God's Holy Spirit --- the
What we ultimately need is a written testimony from someone who has truly
died and then returned from the grave to tell us about the nature of life
after death. Jesus of Nazareth claims to be the one person who has died,
rose from the grave, and now declares the truth about our immortal life.
Jesus arose from the empty tomb on the third day to announce that He had
defeated death and the grave forever. We will examine the claims of Jesus
Christ regarding His death and resurrection to establish the truth of
this unique claim. Then we will explore in depth His written revelations
about the nature of our eternal life in either Heaven or Hell.
The written revelation of the Bible is the only reliable source of information
that clearly illuminates the final truth about our soul's purpose and
our eternal destiny. We willingly sit at the feet of poets, medical doctors,
research scientists, and philosophers to learn whatever they can reveal
In the end, the inspired Word of God will prove to be our most reliable
instructor and our final court of appeal regarding the truth about life
after death. When the evidence from nature is finally silent, the evidence
from God's written Revelation becomes all-important as it points to the
truth about life after death as well as the way to the gates of heaven.
Death is the final crisis on earth for each of us. This is the point at
which all of our scientific and medical knowledge must cease. From that
point on, our faith and God's inspired revelation in the Bible is our
only guide to find the truth about life after death. The evidence found
in the philosophical and religious writings of ancient cultures as well
as the more sophisticated writings of many modern philosophers and theologians
agree that there is a God who created humanity with a divine purpose.
In addition, there is substantial agreement that man was created to live
forever in an immortal relationship with God Almighty in heaven. The obvious
scientific evidence of a masterful and purposeful design that is revealed
in the study of nature strongly suggests to the unbiased mind that a Supreme
Intelligence must have created the marvelous order evident in our world.
The divine nature of the One who created this universe obviously also
created the spiritual dimension of humanity as well.
Every minute of each day we stand on a sharp precipice between life and
death --- between mortality and immortality --- the known and the unknown.
In light of the obvious fact that every one of us must someday face the
crisis of our human mortality at some point in time, we need to carefully
consider the vital question of whether the moment of our death is the
final and complete end of our conscious existence. Or, is that moment
of our death only the beginning of a potentially glorious new experience
that will transcend our normal earthly existence as the brilliant, warm
light of a new dawn replaces the cold, darkness of the long night that
An anonymous writer penned the question in these words:
What shall our lot be, when we lay aside These cumbering vestments of
mortality? The almost universal existence of a profound desire for immortality
in all humans in virtually all cultures provides powerful, presumptive
evidence that life after death is, in fact, a reality. A Gallup poll at
the beginning of the 1980s surveyed Americans to determine their beliefs
regarding the afterlife. Interestingly, 71 percent of those surveyed declared
that they believed in Heaven while only 21 percent believed in Hell, the
balance was unsure. Intriguingly, 67 percent of Americans surveyed expressed
a strong belief in life after death. (Gallup, G., Jr, and Proctor, W.
Adventures in Immortality. New York: McGraw Hill, 1982)
When we consider the question of whether or not life ends forever at our
physical death, we are confronted with the mystery of why virtually all
humans who mourn at the death of their loved ones feel a strong emotion
of deep loss and a profound yearning to be reunited in an afterlife with
their deceased loved ones. For those who suggest that there is no life
beyond the present one, consider the millions who weep at the grave side,
sincerely believing that their loved ones still exist in some other place.
Obviously, as long as people die, humans will continually be confronted
with the profound question: Can evidence support the notion that the human
soul survives death? While this question has been asked for thousands
of years, it remains among the most important questions that we face as
humans. Our death is not something common simply because it happens to
every human. Our own death will be a unique experience because it will
be totally unprecedented for each of us.
Why should we consider the question of the immortality of the soul? The
truth is that we cannot ignore the question of the possibility of our
survival of physical death anymore than we can ignore the issue of human
life or love itself. The ancient Greek philosopher Democritus stated,
"The soul is the house of God." The modern writer Martineau wisely wrote,
"We do not believe in immortality because we have proved it, but we forever
try to prove it because we believe it." Another writer, Theodore Parker,
correctly noted, "All men desire to be immortal." The great English writer,
Lord Alfred Tennyson, wrote about the longing for immortality:
No life that breathes with human breath
Has ever truly longed for death.
The American statesman Benjamin Franklin discussed the question of his
approaching death and the afterlife with a friend just before the end
of his life. He confidently stated,
Death is as necessary to the constitution as sleep; we shall rise refreshed
in the morning. The course of nature must soon put a period to my present
mode of existence. This I shall submit to with the less regret, as, having
seen, during a long life, a good deal of this world, I felt a growing
curiosity to become acquainted with some other, and can cheerfully, with
filial confidence, resign my spirit to the conduct of that great and good
Parent of mankind who created it, and who has so graciously protected
and preserved me from my birth to the present hour. (Our Departed Friends
of Glory of the Immortal Life, J. E. Stebbins, Hartford, 1867)
Some people suggest that any philosophical question such as immortality
that cannot be scientifically proven to every ones' complete satisfaction
should be completely ignored. However, this approach represents a complete
rejection of the western legal tradition of evaluating controversial evidence
in a court of law before twelve neutral citizens. Our courts routinely
consider and pass serious judgments, including death sentences, in cases
in which the conclusion of the jury or the judge must inevitably depend
upon both logical deduction and circumstantial evidence. However, a later
chapter will examine evidence from science that tends to support the probability
that the souls of individuals continue to exist in the spiritual realm
after their earthly remains are laid in the grave.
The agnostic philosophy that refuses to consider a future spiritual life
such as Heaven or Hell is often expressed through the agnostic's contemptuous
statement: "One world at a time is enough." When we think about the question
of God's existence or the issue of life after death it is interesting
to note that from Genesis to Revelation there are no passages that discuss
the question of whether or not God exists. In fact, the Scriptures do
not take the trouble to debate or deny the assertions of atheists that
reject the existence of God and our eternal soul. The only place in the
Holy Scriptures that addresses the question of atheism at all is found
in the following statement by King David: "The fool hath said in his heart,
There is no God." (Psalms 14:1) The Bible dismisses the pretense of atheism
as an obviously invalid belief. King David longed for the time when he
would enter into Heaven and enjoy forevermore the presence of his beloved
God. David wrote, "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand.
I had rather be a door keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in
the tents of wickedness" (Psalms 84:10).
If God created the human spirit to live in both this temporal earthly
existence and a future eternal heavenly existence, then we must reject
the view of those philosophers who seek to limit mankind's existence to
only seventy or eighty years. If God truly created mankind for eternity
as the Holy Scriptures repeatedly declare, then we should carefully examine
the evidence from both science and the Word of God.
A Historical Example of God's Intervention in History
There is a remarkable historical example of the hand of God supernaturally
displayed over fifteen centuries of Jewish history that is impossible
to ignore. This example is the extraordinary and supernatural protection
of the Children of Israel whenever they obeyed God's command to attend
to His worship in the Temple in Jerusalem three times each year on the
three great annual festivals: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. God
specifically commanded that all Israelite males must travel three times
a year from wherever they lived within the land of Israel to journey to
the Temple in Jerusalem every Passover, Pentecost, and Feast of Tabernacles.
This Divine command was encompassed with God's promise of supernatural
protection: "But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that
I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary
unto thine adversaries" (Exodus 23:22). This promise was expanded to include
a remarkable and unprecedented promise where God declared that He would
cause Israel's enemies to lose their desire to invade the Promised Land
during these three annual periods of military vulnerability: "neither
shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before
the Lord thy God thrice in the year" (Exodus 34:24).
The Jews were constantly surrounded by dozens of enemy nations and powerful
pagan empires including Babylon, Assyria, and Egypt that earnestly desired
the total destruction of the small state of Israel and its population
of Jews. However, when the Jews were in the Wilderness of the Sinai during
the Exodus God commanded: "Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me
in the year" (Exodus 23:14). In a display of God's supernatural power
to protect His Chosen People the Lord prophesied that He would supernaturally
remove the desire to invade the Promised Land during these three annual
festivals when the nation would be normally totally exposed to an attack.
No other nation in the ancient world obeyed a similar injunction that
demanded that all of its adult males leave their forts, farms, villages,
and cities, abandoning the frontier outposts and military garrisons to
meet together in the center of their land in their capital, Jerusalem.
Israel's many enemies were obviously aware of this unprecedented and peculiar
practice of having all men capable of military defense of the state withdraw
three times every year from their homes and farms throughout the nation
to congregate in one central position at Jerusalem. Naturally, you would
expect that Israel's pagan enemies would have chosen any one of these
thrice annual opportune occasions to launch an overwhelming attack on
the virtually undefended borders of the Jewish state during any one of
these three annual festivals over the fifteen hundred years since they
conquered Canaan till the life of Christ.
Yet the history of Israel, from the time of Joshua's triumphant conquest
of Jericho in approximately 1451 B.C., until the time of Jesus of Nazareth,
does not reveal a single occasion when any of Israel's many enemies ever
launched a successful attack of the Jewish state during any one of the
three great annual festivals. In light of the obvious military weakness
Israel would have experienced every single time her adult males obeyed
God's command to attend the annual festivals, I believe the lack of any
serious military invasions of Israel on the occasion of any of these 4500
major festivals (1500 years x 3 annual feasts) provides overwhelming evidence
of God's supernatural protection of His Chosen People.
The ancient catechism of the Church poses the question of man's ultimate
purpose in God's creation: "What is the chief end of Man?" The answer
to this liturgical question was given as follows: "Man's chief end is
to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever." These statements expressed a virtually
universal understanding in past generations in Western Europe of the intimate
and powerful relationship that existed between God and humanity. An expectation
of a heavenly afterlife was the natural result of a life of faith in the
Lordship of Jesus Christ. This understanding of the all-encompassing and
eternal relationship between mankind and God was expressed in the common
phrase: "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do do all
to the glory of God."
God reveals Himself in His Creation as a God of power. He also reveals
Himself as a God of wisdom in His manifest providence to us. The revelation
of His law throughout the Scriptures reveals His divine justice. Finally,
He reveals Himself as a God of love. The invitation of Christ remains
open to anyone who will reject their sinful pride and accept His welcome
to come up into Paradise after accepting His offer of salvation.
In the balance of this book we will examine in detail the evidence from
the world of nature, philosophy, religion, personal experience, medicine,
science, and finally, the written declarations about the reality of the
resurrection body in the words of Jesus of Nazareth. I believe that the
evidence will provide ample proof that we are destined to live forever.
Furthermore, the evidence will show that those whom have faith in Jesus
Christ will live forever in a glorious resurrection body similar to His
own, after He rose victorious over the grave. The knowledge of our final
triumph over death and the grave through Christ can liberate us from the
fear of death. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the garden tomb robbed
death of its previous triumph over life. The Gospels declare Christ's
victory over death for all who place their faith in Him: "O Death where
is thy sting, O Grave, where is thy victory?"(1 Corinthians 15:55)
From the moment of our birth, our body's cells begin to die. This book
will demonstrate that we are all on a journey to eternity; death is a
point of transition along the way. For those who place their faith in
Christ, this journey will culminate with God's promise of a glorious resurrection
body and the New Jerusalem.
*The above is an excerpt taken from Grant Jeffrey's fascinating
Journey Into Eternity
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