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‘As for me, justified, I will behold Your face; when I awake, Your presence will satisfy me.’ Psalm 17:15 ISV

There has never been a race of mankind that didn’t believe in some kind of future life; whether it’s reuniting with ancestors as some Native Americans believe, or the sensual abode of bliss of the Muslim. How do you explain that?

Long before any evidence for this worldwide belief had been gathered, Cicero said, ‘In everything the consent of all nations is to be accounted the law of nature, and to resist it is to resist the voice of God.’ On the night Socrates died, Crito asked him, ‘In what way would you have us bury you?’ He replied, ‘In any way that you like, only you must get hold of me, and take care that I do not walk away from you.’ In his Phaedo, Plato presented powerful arguments in favour of immortality.

Others argued for it, too; great thinkers like Thomas Carlyle, Thomas Jefferson, and the German poet Heinrich Heine. Alfred Lord Tennyson’s most famous poem goes like this: ‘For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place the flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face when I have crossed the bar.’

And Byron writes, ‘I feel my immortality o’ersweep all pains, all tears, all fears, and peal, like the eternal thunders of the deep, into my ears this truth—“Thou liv’st forever!”’

All these great minds shared the conviction of the psalmist: ‘I will behold Your face; when I awake, Your presence will satisfy me.’ When you think about it, ‘good night’ here just means ‘good morning’ over there.

SoulFood: 1 Kings 6–7, Matt 13:10–23, Ps 101, Pro 12:12–13

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2022

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