The Finality of Life
by Rev Greg Obong-Oshotse 8 July 2020
Text: Hebrews 9:27
“It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”
When I attended the University of Ife in the late 1970s, it was officially described as the most beautiful campus in Africa. Well nurtured gardens filled with lovely tropical plants and flowers covered its 13,000 hectares. Each building wore them like jewellery. Even when there was water shortage in the students’ halls of residence, there was always more than enough for the plants. As we were walking to lectures one morning, a friend who had been rather short of water that morning looked wistfully at the luminous waves of water being sprayed on the plants and said, ‘In my next life I shall return here as a flower.’
Of course, it was a joke but the notion remains quite popular that people go through many cycles of life, dying and returning in repeated life-death-life cycles, a teaching commonly known as reincarnation among some religious groups. But the Word of God has no such teaching. On the contrary there is just room enough for each person to have only one life, and one death, after which comes judgement, at which they are assigned their final destination: eternal life with Christ in heaven or eternal punishment with Satan in hell. It has to be one of the greatest deceptions of Satan to make people believe that they have endless cycles of life-death-life, like the proverbial ‘cat of nine lives’, to get to heaven. Life on earth is once and final.
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