Will you be an angel when you go to heaven? Will there be golf in heaven? What is eternal life?
These are some of the questions Christians sometimes struggle to answer, and they become particularly poignant when a loved one dies. We feel pain at the loss or we hurt for those who have suffered such losses. We try to comfort ourselves and others with pious-sounding phrases such as, “Well, heaven needed another angel,” or “He’s up in heaven fishing.”
But many of these sayings are neither biblical nor helpful for the Christian faith. They undermine what is central to our eternal life: Christ Jesus, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
In the November issue of The Lutheran Witness (LW), our writers take up the issue of eternal misconceptions to help you understand what God’s Word says about eternal life. The issue also explains near-death experiences and the greater confidence we have in Jesus.
The title of this issue, “On Eternal Life,” reflects a recently translated and published work by a Lutheran theologian from the 16th and 17th centuries, Johann Gerhard. (It’s available for purchase at Concordia Publishing House.) The issue discusses how Gerhard’s work helps us today. We also hear about one particular saint who has gone before us, St. Clement of Rome.
All the articles in this issue ultimately point readers to the center of our eternal life, an eternal life that begins in the waters of Baptism and finds its culmination in the resurrection of all flesh on the Last Day. This center is not our own personal, earthly desires or pleasures, but the Lamb who was slain that our names might be written in the Book of Life.
Posted Nov. 7, 2022