Joel of Jerusalem Feb/Mar 1977
A long time ago I had a discussion with some people about the question of a new life after the earthly body dies. Recently I was very surprised to see an article in the newspaper entitled, “Is There a Life After Death?” There were many questions and answers in the article, but not the answers we want as believers. The important thing, though, is that now the people are interested in this subject, where before they did not even think about it. Some of them say, “There could be a new life, we believe this.” But there are others who, as the Bible predicts, hear and hear but do not understand.
In the army I told the young men, “You can have a good future and a new life after your life on earth is over. You can be in heaven and have your soul saved.” They ask, “How can this be?”
I tell them, “You must return to the Lord and pray, asking Him to forgive your sins and save your soul. After this, you will have everlasting life. Of course, you can only receive this if you come and open your heart before the Lord, not before me or your friends. I can show you the way, but I can do no more than that. If you will take and read the Bible, you will find all of the answers, especially about the crucifixion whereby we receive salvation, everlasting life and the forgiveness of our sins. I do not mean the killing of chickens in accordance with the old tradition, where people kill chickens as a sacrifice, one for each person, and then eat them. My friends, do you think we can be saved by these chickens? Can we receive salvation through them?”
One of the young army men said to me, “How can it be as you say? Shall we stop going on Yom Kippur with all of the other people to pray in the synagogue and kill the chickens, as we have always done?” I replied, “There was a time when I thought as you do, but now my eyes are open. Now I do not see as my father and mother saw.”
I then read to them from Ezekiel 18:20. After this I told them, “I know that the eyes of our Lord are in every place. Even if we pray alone in a corner, He will see us. If all of you will pray, you will then have complete confidence that the Lord will never leave you, and you will be sure of your future in heaven. Follow the example of the great ones of old as they came to the Lord and said, ‘Into thine hand I commit my spirit’ . . . (Psalm 31:5). If we do not do this now, when we die it will be too late. We will be forever dead, nevermore to live. God has given us a free choice, a free mind, but He is never far away. The Lord sees our every step, where we go and what we do. Therefore, we must be born again.”
This was a new term for them and they exclaimed, “What!? How can we be born again?” “It is very simple,” I replied. “Accept the Lord as your personal Savior. You will be a new creature and you will feel as a newborn, without sin.” “Is this possible?” they asked. “Yes, it is,” I answered. “All of this is written in the Bible. If you will read it and receive it in your hearts, the Lord will open your minds and so shall you be blessed.”