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Dear COA Family,

Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment” John 5:28-29.

Recently I visited a wake of a grandparent of an SAJS student. It was a Taoist wake. At that wake, the student’s mother was sharing her fear with me that the family was uncertain of the fate of her deceased father after death. Would he be reincarnated into another person? Will he remember his past life with all of his close relationships with his wife and children?

I was able to share with her the hope we have as Christians – that we will be resurrected in new bodies to live in the life that God has prepared for us after our deaths. We will also not lose our identity but will be able to live in perfect joy and peace the new life he has prepared for us. This is according to God’s promises to us in his word, of which the above is one of them. She was amazed at the hope that we possess as Christians.

Beloved, this certain hope that we have of a renewed, purposeful and glorious life to come is a great privilege that only believers of Christ enjoy! It is not a hope to be taken for granted!

Yet Jesus speaks of two kinds of resurrection – of those who have done good and of those who have done evil.

In other words, not only will believers have a new resurrection body, the wicked and unbelieving will also receive a resurrected body after death. However, the latter will have to go through the judgment of hell’s fire in their new bodies, which is why the torment of hell will be truly experienced by them. It is a place where “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:50), indicating true suffering experienced in a body.

In the light of the divergent and horrifying eternal destinies that will be experienced by some, let us continue to share the gospel with our family and friends, knowing that not only will the gospel bring hope to people who are living in this life, it will also help them escape the eternal destruction in the life to come and fit them for eternal life.

Revd Ian