The World Tomorrow

Life After Death

by Hebert W Armstrong


What's happened to those who have died? Are they still alive someplace? Are they conscious? What about your own relatives, those you call your loved ones, where are they? What about those who have died, as they say, unsaved? Is there hope for them and where are they? Is there life after death or does this life just end? Or do we have eternal life already?

Some people seem to think we do. They know other people die right along, but most people seem to think; "Well, it isn't going to happen to me - at least not now." And they don't like to think about it, so they shove it aside. But; " is appointed [to all] men once to die..." (Hebrews 9:27). And everybody except the few; and there's nobody living over, say, over a hundred, there's nobody living as old as a hundred and fifty years of age right now. Nobody on this earth. And I may say there are not many people living on the face of this earth today much older than I am, not very many.

They talk however, those in Christianity and in the churches, and on the air in religious broadcasts, you find they are speaking about this life in this world, this world of Satan's. And how to live in this world, this world of Satan's. Some of them say, of course, you need Christ in your life. But that's only for this life, and they don't talk about a life after this life. They don't seem to go into that matter.

They don't talk about the world tomorrow, and that is the title of this program; 'The World Tomorrow'. What about that? Does that have anything to do with the Christian religion? Does it have anything to do with your life? I want you to notice what the apostle Paul said in a letter written to the church in Corinth way back there in the very first century, over nineteen hundred and - about nineteen hundred and fifty years ago. It's in I Corinthians 15 and verse nineteen. He said:

"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Corinthians 15:19)

If in this life only! And he goes on to say that if that's all there is to it, in just this life; that those who have died or perished, and you will perish, and you have no hope whatsoever. I would like you to notice just a moment what the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, over in Philippians chapter three and verse 11. He was writing:

"If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which...I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things [that] are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press [onward] toward the mark...of the high calling of...Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:11-14)

What is that high calling? Why do you live? What does 'Christianity' mean? What did Christ come for? What does religion mean and why is there any need of it? We need to understand those things. People take so much for granted, they don't understand. What about those who have died unsaved? Where are they now? And what has happened to them? In Hebrews the ninth chapter and verse 27 you will read:

" it is appointed unto men once to die...after this the judgment:" (Hebrews 9:27)

So there is a judgment, it's after you die. Now does that mean that people are judged while they are dead? No it does not; and I want to go on and give you other scriptures that show precisely what it is. It is appointed to all men once to die but after that death the judgment. Now turn right back where we were a moment ago, I Corinthians 15 and in verse 22 we read:

"For as in Adam all die..." (I Corinthians 15:22)

Now all die in Adam, it's appointed to all men once to die, you can't avoid it. The most certain thing in life is death. But you know, those who have died and been brought back by CPR or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I heard a documentary just recently, where it concerned many who have been brought back in that way, and I'm one of them incidentally; and it was stated that not one of them fears death any longer. And let me tell you, I do not fear death because I was as dead as I will ever be, except the human spirit in me had not left. But my breath had stopped, my heart had stopped beating, there was no pulse, there was no blood pressure whatsoever, my heart was not beating for some little time. I don't know how long it was, I was unconscious. I didn't know anything about it except what they told me later. But I came back. Now notice:

"For as in Adam all in Christ shall all be made alive." (I Corinthians 15:22)

Going back to what I said just a minute ago, you know I thought about that time and again. Did I really die? I was not what would be called scientifically dead, not until the doctor pronounced me dead and no doctor did that. But nurses brought me back, they happened to be there at the time and they got busy on me very quickly and they said things were quite active there for a while until they brought me back to breathing again. I can tell you though, I didn't go to heaven or hell. I didn't know anything, I only knew what they told me later. I didn't know what had happened. I didn't know anything about it. And that might be interesting to you, I haven't mentioned that before, I just happened to think about it while I'm talking to you here now.

Christ the Firstborn of the Dead (PLAY FROM 07:28)

But I want you to notice here again; " in Adam all die..." (I Corinthians 15:22). You and I are all going to die in Adam even though when Christ comes at the second coming, the dead in Christ will be raised first. And those in the church that are really converted and have the Holy Spirit of God will be changed; "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye...from mortal to immortal." (I Corinthians 15:52-53 paraphrased).

But that will be an instantaneous death and resurrection. It will be an instantaneous death and resurrection. It'll happen so fast you won't know that it happened probably. But nevertheless, I think that technically, we would have to say it will be a death and then life will start the same instant. " in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (I Corinthians 15:22). Now more about that a little later. However, let's go back to verse 19 again:

"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." (I Corinthians 15:19-20)

Now in Romans 1, verse 4, I want to read you what we find here. Speaking about Christ, it speaks here;

"Concerning [God's] Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:" (Romans 1:3-4)

A Son of God by a resurrection. Now let's leave out the little intervening clauses that are merely describing part of it and get the real sentences you would diagram it. And the actual sentence here is; "...Christ our Lord...declared to be the Son of the resurrection from the dead." (Romans 1:3-4). And He is called the firstborn of many brethren in the eighth chapter of Romans. Now that's Romans 8 and verse 29 where it says:

"...that he might be [Christ, might be] the firstborn [of] many brethren." (Romans 8:29)

Many people talk about being 'born again'. They don't understand what they are talking about. Many people who might have been begotten of God, but not yet born. You know, a fetus in its mother's womb is begotten of its father but has not yet been born, the birth hasn't taken place yet.

And we may be begotten of God; and may become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, to inherit everything that God has given over to Christ. And that is everything there is because everything has been given over to Christ. And those in Christ are co-heirs with Him but they're only heirs now; not possessors, not inheritors yet, not yet. Not actually born of God yet. Already sons of God but as yet unborn. Now Jesus was born by a resurrection from the dead and that is the way we shall be born whether it's an instantaneous death and resurrection at the second coming of Christ, or the resurrection of those who have died and are brought back to life:

"For as in Adam all in Christ shall all be made alive." (I Corinthians 15:22)

"And as it is appointed to all men once to die, and after that the judgment:" (Hebrews 9:27 paraphrased)

And so many are going to - as a matter of fact ALL who die in Adam; and we do die in Adam, the first Adam. And Christ was called the second Adam. The first Adam was physical, the second Adam is spiritual, but all will be made alive in the second Adam, Christ.

Christ Resurrected First (PLAY FROM 11:50)

But I want to read you a little more about that now. Let's get back to that now. I Corinthians 15, {1} and I'd like to go back to verse 12:

"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?"(I Corinthians 15:12)

At that time there were those who were claiming among the Jews - the Sadducees - were claiming that there was no resurrection from the dead. Jesus Christ taught there is a resurrection. The apostle Paul was teaching it, and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the message that Jesus Himself preached. But some were believing that up in the church at Corinth, and Paul said:

"...if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen [if He did not rise from the dead, as the first one to be resurrected from the dead, the firstborn, as we read in Romans 8, of many brethren], then is our preaching vain, and your faith is...vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he [rose from the dead]: whom He raised not...if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ [risen]: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. [Now continuing in verse 18] Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." (I Corinthians 15:12-18)

Then continuing what I did read a while ago: If in this life only we have [faith] in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." (I Corinthians 15:19-20)

The firstborn of many brethren. He - His resurrection came first. Now down to verse 22:

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ [the same all going back to Adam, Cain and Abel and the first humans that ever were born, and even Adam, the first created]...But every man in his own order [there will be an order of resurrections, Christ the firstfruits; that happened 1950 years ago and more, over 1950 years ago]: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." (I Corinthians 15:22-23)

Now who are Christ's? Those who have the Holy Spirit, Romans 8 and verse 9; "...if you have not the Spirit of Christ dwelling in you, you are not His." (Romans 8:9 paraphrased). You are not a Christian. I don't care how many churches you belong to. I don't care what you profess – I mean regardless of what you profess, it makes no difference. Unless God's Spirit is dwelling in you, unless you are being LED by the Spirit of God in your life, you are none of His. And it's only those who are Christ's.

The Great White Throne Judgment (PLAY FROM 15:24)

"...every man in his order [then those that are] Christ's at His coming. [And] Then cometh the end..." (I Corinthians 15:23-24)

And that's at the end of a 1000 years, and you have to go back to Revelation 20 to see what is going to happen then. And then there will be a resurrection to judgment of all of those who have died. And all of those who have died unsaved even. They died in Adam, they shall be raised through Christ! That doesn't mean raised immortal but raised to judgment. And there will be a great judgment called the Great White Throne Judgment that you read of in the twentieth chapter of the Book of Revelation. That is described of ancient Israel but it will happen to everyone who ever died, Gentiles as well as Israelites. It's described back in the thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel of how they will come back to mortal life, all who died. Then their minds will be opened to the truth which they never did have in this life.

Then they will be judged according to their works. And I can tell you now that sin is the transgression of the law and death is the penalty of transgression: "...the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23). And that sentence, death, will be passed on all of them. That will be passed on your loved ones who were unsaved. But now listen, and listen to the better news; They will then be told that Jesus Christ came and died, that's over 1950 years ago now, to pay their penalty in their stead.

And their penalty will be eternal death for all eternity, but they will have a chance to be then given immortal life. And that will be the time when it is prophesied in the second chapter of Joel that God will be pouring out His Spirit on all flesh. And they will have a chance, on acceptance of Christ and on repentance of what they did and how they did live in this life, to receive the Spirit of God.

They will be given a certain amount of time. And there is reason to believe it may be a hundred years, although that particular scripture in the sixty-fifth chapter of Isaiah is subject to a different translation. But there will be a time that if they then live a righteous life, if they have repented and if they live in a way that they could enjoy eternal life, they will have eternal life. And then they will be turned, changed from mortal to immortality.

And they shall still even yet at that time have salvation. The purpose of God is beyond finding out. I want to tell you that. The world knows so little, they don't understand the purpose of God. They don't understand the Master Plan by which He is working out that purpose. There is so little understood now about those things here on the earth.

This World Started by Adam (PLAY FROM 18:45)

Now let's get back again to the fifteenth chapter of I Corinthians. I want to just read some of it because you hear so little about a resurrection. You hear so little about the world tomorrow. You know we're living in a world started by Adam. Adam disobeyed God. Adam made the wrong choice, he chose to take the knowledge of good and evil, or spiritual knowledge to himself. He took to himself spiritual knowledge of right and wrong. And the way he took it, he took that the way of right is 'get', that the way of right was vanity, lust and greed, jealousy and envy toward other people and just getting for himself. And vanity; 'I love me more than I love you', in other words. And his sons were not educated in any other way.

And God closed up the Holy Spirit at that time. And God's Spirit was closed and the nations have not had a chance to really come to the knowledge and the truth of God. This is not the time God is trying to save the world but this world was founded on Adam. It is a materialistic world and it is a world that has a wrong spiritual concept of what is right and wrong. It is a world that is based on GET and not on give. And God's Law, God's way of life, is the way of GIVE, the way of love, out flowing love, love to God, love to neighbor.

And that again is codified in the Ten Commandments. The first four tell you how to love God, and the last six tell you how to love neighbor. But the world doesn't believe in that. Organized Christianity doesn't believe in that. Organized Christianity tries to tell you falsely; that the Law was done away. The Law of God is a law of LOVE. The Ten Commandments are a SPIRITAL law, they're a law of LOVE but they don't want to accept it. And they're not accepted in organized Christianity, and SIN is the transgression of that Law! And Jesus Christ Himself said:

"...except ye repent [and of sin, which is the transgression of that Law and] ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3)

And there's so much preaching about Jesus but they don't preach His message, His gospel which He did preach and which He proclaimed. They simply do not preach that. Now getting back to I Corinthians again, let me go a little further now on over to verse 45:

"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul [that is a living... the Hebrew word was 'nephesh', which just means a physical body breathing air, a heart pumping blood; does not mean anything spiritual at all, the first man was made mortal]; the last Adam [or Christ, the second Adam] was made a quickening [or life giving] spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man [was] of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven." (I Corinthians 15:45-47)

That's Jesus Christ. Adam started this world. This world was started under the influence of Satan the devil. This world is Satan's world, it was based on Adam. It's a world based on materialism. It is a world that has produced awesome materialistic advances and what we call, mistakenly, progress. But a world of regression and a world of going backwards spiritually; A world of appalling evils and troubles and heartaches and sufferings of every kind. Of violence, of war, of poverty, of everything wrong and every evil.

Hope for the Future (PLAY FROM 23:18)

But: "As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they...that are heavenly." (I Corinthians 15:48)

In other words they will be composed of spirit. But no-one is going to be composed of spirit until he gets so sick and tired of this world and its evil ways, and its ideas of right and wrong which are altogether selfish, and self centered and loving each one his own self. But feeling envy and jealousy and hostility, competition against others and strife.

"And as we have borne the image of the earthy [in this worldly life], we [we always means those in the church, we in God's church who have His Spirit] shall...bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say [to you], brethren [Paul wrote], that flesh and blood [which we are now, in mortal bodies] cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall...all be changed [all be changed – when?], In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the [trump] shall sound, and the dead [in Christ] shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on [incorruption in a resurrection and in another life, and a life living another way and not transgressing the Law of God any longer, or the Commandments of God; So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption,] and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (I Corinthians 15:49-55)

And finally all will be happy. Satan the devil will be gone, he will not be around this earth any longer and there will be no mortal humans. But of those billions, I think there will be even some billions of them that will be finally made immortal and have eternal life. And there is great hope even for the loved ones you've had who have died, as you think, unsaved. They are going to have to come to a judgment. They'll be brought back to life in a resurrection.

They'll have to make their own decision then but there won't be any devil around, there won't be a world leading them the wrong way. All of the influences will be the right way, and I believe personally that most of them are going to make the right decision and that there is going to be salvation of billions. God's purpose is He is reproducing Himself and His purpose stands, it will not fail. And, well I can just say you can bet your life on it because you are betting your life on it anyway. And it will happen because the word of God is absolutely sure!

Related Reading (PLAY FROM 26:58)

Now I want to offer you a booklet; 'What Is the Reward of the Saved?' Is it going to heaven or is it roasting in hell or what? What about the reward of the wicked? Maybe that's going to hell? You need to read this; 'What Is the Reward of the Saved?' I haven't offered that booklet for a long time and it's absolutely free.

We don't ask for money, no request for money except I'd like to send you this booklet, that's the only request. And then if you are not a subscriber of the 'Plain Truth', as many, many of you are. 'The Plain Truth' now one of the world's great mass circulation magazines, a circulation monthly of over now 5,400,000 every month copies. It's a huge subscription list and here is a recent number, 'World Leaders Predict a Divorce Between America and Europe'. Handsomely illustrated. 'The Terrible Tragedy of Terrorism' is another article. Then, 'Why Does God Let Little Children Die?'

I had a broadcast on; 'Why Did God Allow the Flood?' and why did He cause it and drown all but eight people on earth? Why does He allow little children to die? You need to understand those things and you'll find how wonderful God is when you do. Here's another one; 'Suicide, Its Causes and Cure'. Something you need to know about. This magazine is just chuck full of things about life, about world news and giving the meaning of world news as no other news magazine even does and there is no subscription price.

So until next time, Herbert W Armstrong, goodbye friends.


{1} Mr Armstrong mentions Romans 15 instead of I Corinthians 15.