Philosopher James Martineau once said, “We do not believe in immortality because we have proved it, but we forever try to prove it because we believe it.” Immortality, like so many things, cannot be proven by the scientific or historical methods. However, belief in it is credible for several reasons.
1. Reason. There are two truths that make immortality reasonable. First, the highest of all creations is human personality. Nothing in all this world is quite equal to it. Second, science teaches us that energy is indestructible. Now, it is not reasonable that God would create a world like this and then throw the crown of his creation on the dust-heap of death. Would he conserve all else and then waste his most marvelous product? It seems doubtful.
2. Instincts. Religion is one of the widest, deepest, most powerful, and permanent facts in our world. It is instinctive in man. Deeply imbedded in all worthy religion is the conviction of immortality. A study of the burial practices of the ancients reveals that they all believed in life after death. Such universal agreement of belief and such harmony of opinion in people so varied culturally is in itself convincing evidence of the truth of man’s immortality. Would God plant such an instinct in us and provide no answering reality to man’s hopes? As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our dissatisfaction with any other solution is the blazing evidence of immortality.”
3. The resurrection. While I would believe in immortality even if I had never heard of the resurrection, it is still the greatest of all evidences for life after death. The Bible declares that Jesus Christ has “abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10). And because he lives, we still live also. His resurrection is not a pipe dream. It is a certainty!