Henry Silbor: “Beyond Death”

Photo by Alessio Lin on Unsplash

The reality of death encounters a person commonly when someone experiences losing a loved one. Is there an afterlife? What is next after death? For a child who lost his mother, “Will I ever see my mother again?”[1] Indeed, as human beings, we grieve. But “men of faith” believe that this is not the end “to our existence. Man is not so earthbound that he cannot hope for God’s promise of a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells permanently.”[2]

The state of being in the interim between death and resurrection is called a disembodied conscious state of spiritual experience.[3] This is a fixed state but an incomplete state. “The body will be raised and transformed at the resurrection when Christ returns to earth… At the resurrection, we will experience our final state.”

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus,[4] after death, the rich man “immediately entered into a state of misery. There is no purgatory mentioned.” This signifies that “At death, the body of the unbelievers return to the earth, but the spirit enters into the state of conscious punishment.” While Lazarus “immediately entered into the state of blessedness, Abraham’s bosom.” The body remains in the earth and decay, while the soul enters immediately to either the state of blessedness or state of misery and punishment.

Believer’s soul after death will directly be with the presence of God. “Paul speaks of departing is to be with Christ. . . to depart is to be with Christ.”[5] A disembodied righteous person will go directly to paradise with Christ, like the “penitent thief on the cross.” Jesus said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”[6] “No greater joy could be contemplated by a person than to be clasped and to be embraced to the bosom of Abraham, the father [of the chosen] race.” This paradise is both a state of blessedness or a blessed experience and a place where God dwells.

The final state is completed at the resurrection when Christ returns. Man possesses both body (material) and soul (immaterial), as a believer, will have a new—glorified—body “at the time of the resurrection.”


References:

[1] Henry P. Silbor, “Untitled” (Sermon, Touch Christian Fellowship, Baguio, October 30, 2005). Silbor’s world was shaken when he lost his mother. In his words, “When [my] mother died, my world was shaken as most children my age. I was shaken by the reality of death.”

[2] 2 Peter 3:13.

[3] Silbor prefers “disembodied state” than “intermediate state” to avoid the idea of material which is associated with the word “place”.

[4] Luke 16:19-31.

[5] Philippians 1:23. Silbor noted that this is a confirmation of the OT passage in Ecclesiastes 12:7.

[6] Luke 23:43.

Published by JP Arceno

A Mere Christian, no other religion, but Christian church, call me a Catholic Christian ~ Richard Baxter

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