It’s interesting that during a worldwide pandemic, recent stories about humans extending their lifespan have been popping up everywhere.
Here are a pair of recent “ripped from the headlines” examples…
How science could help us live forever
Promising new medical research is fueling a community of “immortality chasers.” But can their innovations really reverse aging?
Maybe you saw the interesting story about an 11-year old phenom genius who just graduated from college this year (yes, 11 years old) and has big plans for the future. Another headline…
11-Year-OId Gets Physics Degree, Says He’ll Use It to Attain Technological Immortality – “I want to be able to replace as many body parts as possible with mechanical parts.”
Oh boy, science again…
The Church of Science is on its never ending drumbeat to change everything. But while some initiatives are absolutely worthy (how to stop climate change, for example,) others are just….out there…
Now let’s be fair – probably since the dawn of mankind, every living person has wanted to keep on living. All kinds of elixirs and potions and spells have been concocted to delay death as long as possible.
Check the TV commercials or infomercials – all sorts of gadgets and medications are out there promising anyone that they can extend someone’s life. And that this should be everyone’s goal – after all, why live a shorter life that isn’t fun and fulfilling?
Even as people of faith and with the promises made to us by God and Christ about “eternal life,” we still ALL want to live longer right here on terra firma.
Why do we feel that need to stick around on Earth longer? Is it the zeal to blow out huge numbers of birthday candles on a cake? Is it some kind of competition to see who can live longest? Does something special happen the day you turn 100?
It’s almost like some video games. You keep on playing, keep moving up the levels, keep racking up the points until you win….what, exactly?
In this case you keep charting the years of your earthly existence, one after another, even while you slow down more each and every year. Sure, modern medicine can help prolong your life and can even keep you alive via machines. But is that a life worth living?
Would YOU really like a longer life span courtesy of “mechanical parts?” Sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator. Just say “I’ll be baaack” and then keep on coming.
So science claims that they’ll be able to give you and others a much longer physical life, even immortality. But here’s a radical thought that this is not such a good idea.
We could make the rational case here. The Earth is approaching eight billion people on its surface. Many futurists and “experts”’ say that’s already too many people. Water and food shortages, and in some cases living space shortages, are crowding people like never before. Climate change in part is caused by that ever growing number of humans who need to eat, need to travel, or just need to breathe.
We assume people will keep having children, but then an aging population that just won’t die will continue to grow the numbers. That means even more food and water, even more energy, not to mention the strife of all those people who inevitably will disagree on a lot of things.
Instead let’s look at the other side of the coin, the spiritual side. The good news there is YES, you CAN have eternal life! Live forever but with the God who created you, who set the universe into motion in the first place. Not of your own accord but of His…
“Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.” – John 8:51 NIV
“and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:26 NIV
Here is where the interesting question comes in: were you created for here, or for there? For Earth, or for Heaven?
Of course those folks who worship at the Church of Science don’t believe they were created at all, or at least not in the spiritual sense. There IS no Heaven, everything is right here. When the end comes for you there is nothing more, it’s over.
It’s no surprise then that those folks want to prolong their earthly life. It’s all they know. Why not be “immortal?”
But for those of us who believe in the Word made flesh, those quotes from John above speak to us. Why did Christ make that promise?
It’s easy really. Jesus came from the Father in Heaven. He didn’t just know eternal life, He IS eternal life. It’s His to offer and he offers it willingly to those who follow Him.
It’s a great promise from God to us, the knowledge that life doesn’t just end at earthly death. It continues afterward in spirit, and in a much better place. Jesus’ resurrection proved it.
And there is additional promise to us that Paul shared with the church in Corinth…
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power – 1 Corinthians 15:42-43 NIV
Our organic body is indeed a mortal shell, destined to degrade and die at some point. And it doesn’t matter who you are – rich or poor, tall or short, north or south or east or west. Anyone is given the promise of eternal life no matter your earthly situation. Weak or strong, big shot or lowly and humble, all who believe are equal and accepted.
It’s that promise that has lifted the spirits of uncounted billions of people over the millennia. Most of those were regular folks without money, without power or influence, and in some cases without earthly hope. But they knew there was always heavenly hope, something that kept them going when earthly power would never have helped them.
Sure, those science folks may come up with “amazing” new ways to prolong life. Maybe in the future everyone will live to be a centenarian (100 years old.) But let’s hope the overall quality of life also improves and we’re not just building more retirement homes then for people who are actually just existing.
If you see those pictures of people who are 100 years old or older, most are infirm, can’t move without assistance, and are often hard to hear as they struggle to speak. Extended “long” life – is it really worth it?
But let’s end with some “good news” – remember the 11 year old genius wanting to create immortal life via mechanical means? Do some web searching and you’ll come across another 11-year old genius from a few years ago whose goal is to scientifically prove that God exists, that life isn’t just random.
Give the kids a chance…
From George Churchgoer