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“Stephen Hawking has made the statement that there is no life after death. How might Scripture respond to his comment?” — Joe
Hawking’s statement is nothing less than a faith statement.
He has faith in his opinion. He has faith in his ability to make pronouncements with a certitude that is based on nothing more than his own internal thoughts.
The writers of the Bible were no strangers to people who exhibited similar kinds of faith.
They understood that denying the reality of eternality was in essence a rejection of the Eternal One. Tales of those who worshipped all kinds of strange gods, rejected the living God and derided the followers of this God abound in Scripture. The psalmist poignantly described the condition of those who simply refused to believe in God (Ps. 14:1-3).
The Bible also recounts stories of people who responded, in faith, to a God who revealed Himself to them. They experienced, in powerful, personal ways, strong affirmations of God’s presence and provision in this world as well as His promises concerning life in the next (Lk. 23:43; Jn. 14:1-6; Rev. 21-22).
Here is the crux of the issue: the whole business is one of faith. There is no scientific argument which proves or disproves the existence of life after death. There is no profit, really, in debating the truth or falsity of the “heaven” proposition.
To the point, millions of people have considered scriptural claims and possibilities concerning the after-life and arrived at a conclusion different from Hawking’s. Their faith in eternal life for those who believe, though it is yet to be fully verified, is not a crutch for the weak nor is it intellectually dishonest.
The Bible leaves it up to you regarding where you will place your faith. Examine the claims, be open to the possibilities, seek the truth — it’s your choice.