Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I am intrigued by what happens to us after death. The New Testament seems to view the afterlife a particular way, different that the Old Testament, and the differences between the two are worth noting. The concept that has my attention now is that of Sheol, which is often translated as "Hell," but which has a fundamentally different meaning than the word that means "Hell" in the New Testament.

Sheol is "the place of the dead," and there is this notion that it is a waiting place. This is different from the image one has of death in the New Testament, where "first there is death, then comes the judgment." There is no place for waiting in the New Testament view, although Jesus refers to Sheol in its Old Testament sense in the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

God is outside of time, so the notion of a chronology, either here or in death, is a construct that is essentially man-made. The wonderful thing about God is that "His ways are not ours," and His thoughts are as far above ours "as the Heavens are above the Earth." That is quite a distance. We are not even close. But God gave us minds and wants us to understand Him, so it is worth pondering these hard questions.I am thinking about this a lot, and expect to write more about it soon.

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