Immortality – That Eternal Quest

Life is short

But immortality can only be our fervent lot!

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Ever since the dawn of mankind, men have always striven for that impossible dream – the dream of immortality. Huangdi, the legendary Yellow Emperor of China some 4,000 years ago, reputed to bring China under one entity & credited with many other innovative ideas & cultural aspects of life, was believed to have sent 500 young men & equal number of young women across to the islands of Japan in the fruitless search of the “immortality herbal myth”. Though not backed up by any documentary evidence, stories abound about the Japanese being the descendants of this batch of young Chinese men & women, who for fear of returning back to China chose to remain & settle in Japan.

Huangdi died young without discovering the immortality myth nor even the “fountain of youth” nor any “elixir of life”. Is immortality ever a possibility?

In the Bible, from Genesis to Revolution, nowhere is mentioned of that possibility, except of “the glory of immortality in the coming Kingdom” which Christ spoke of. Based on Hebrews 9:27, “And it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgement.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 says that all die and all shall be resurrected, but Messiah must be first in the order. Enoch could not possibly have preceded him, especially if he were still flesh and blood as it says in verses 49-52.

Elijah, a prophet of God in the ninth century B.C., who was reputed to be taken on a whirlwind unto heaven “on a chariot of fire and horses of fire” (2 Kings 2:11), together with Moses, both appeared with Jesus at the Transfiguration – that was just a vision (Matthew 17:9). Both Elijah & Moses were still in their graves, but in vision both they & Jesus were seen in glory of the Resurrection, an event that Elijah & Moses had yet to attain (Hebrews 11:39). The Bible is clear that Jesus had to be the first one to be resurrected to eternal life as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:20, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and becomes the firstfruit of them that slept.”

It is further attested in Romans 5:12 . “ . . . so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” and in Romans 5:14, “ . . . death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned.”

In this DNA age, men can attain from three score to four score years of life with occasional media announcement of people living beyond the century limit. I believe the oldest living being is 105. I guess with the advancement of medical science & technology, men can live longer & healthier but not forever!

Interestingly & one of the most intriguing facts in the Bible relates to the immense life span of the patriarchs – Adam lived 930 years and Noah 950 years. Methuselah was the longest with 969 years. The Great Flood in Noah’s time changed all that.

Let’s all strive to live in peace and harmony – a world without wars. As it is, with climatic change, there are enough natural calamities to usher in suffering & misery.

From the womb to the tomb, the journey ends up with just one room of your choosing – either case is for all eternity!

Paul Chong

Friday, 23 October 2009

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