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Apologetic Moments #12: "No one can know what happens when you die."

by Thor Ramsey

"No one can know what happens when you die."

The Apostle Peter tells Christians to "always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect."

With the gentleness and respect in mind, I want to provide answers to some common statements or objections people still make about the Christian faith. (Each blog will cover just one such issue.) Today's is the above: "No one can know what happens when you die."

Here's how I would respond to a person who makes that kind of statement:

The first thing I have to do is simply ask, "How do you know?"

To say that "no one can know what happens after death" is to know a lot about the subject of death, don't you think? I think this statement actually requires a very thorough knowledge of the afterlife, because it claims you know we can't know anything about the afterlife.

And that is the question: How do you know that?

If nothing else, this statement implies a nearly comprehensive understanding of what humans are capable of knowing.

Now, I don't think you meant it that way. I don't think you meant that you absolutely know what people can know and what they can't know. Maybe you just mean that death is a really mysterious subject. And I would agree. There are a lot of things about death that we don't know. But that's not to say we can't know something.

Christians do not claim to know what happens after we die because of something we feel or because of wishful thinking or anything along those lines. We claim to know what happens after we die because of what Jesus Christ has done -- He rose from the dead. Our explanation of what happens after we die is based upon a reliable source -- Jesus Christ who said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die." (John 11:25-26)

Now, if the person's objection is that Jesus Christ is not a reliable source, then he or she must explain why easily the most influential person in the history of the world is not a reliable source.

And his or her explanation for that will more than likely be another apologetic moment.

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