Short Life, Infinite Afterlife?

Posted: October 14, 2012 in Bible Related
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A common question regarding the Christian worldview is the problem of our lifetimes. It doesn’t make sense that we only live a few years on earth and then spend an eternity in heaven. Why such a short physical life to determine where we spend our eternal spiritual life? To answer this question the key point to consider is that this was not God’s original design for humans. Humans (Adam and Eve) were originally created to live for an incredibly long time, some even argue that all of creation was originally designed to live infintely. However, when Adam and Eve sinned against God death entered creation. Romans 5:12; “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people…”


So sin enters the world, now these created beings which where designed to live longer are now cut short because of sin. Even at that, Adam is said to have lived to be to 930 years old (Gen. 5:5), and the subsequent offspring lived very long as well, with the Biblical record being Methuselah who lived to be 969 years old (Gen 5:27). In fact, all Biblical characters lived very long until after the time of Noah. After Noah, humans still lived a few hundreds years old but the age dropped significantly and within a few generations people were living very short lives like 20-30 years. Not to go too far off on a tangent, but it has all the symptoms of a genetic bottleneck that we observe in animal populations today. Bible believing biologists believe that there must have been a wide variety genes in the human gene pool which were lost when all humans were killed with only Noah and his family remaining (a genetic bottleneck). Only the genes they possessed were passed on to the repopulated humans, which unfortunately did not possess the genes to live very long.


So humans were designed to live a very long time, sin enters the world and now we’re cut down to hundreds of years, the flood creates a genetic bottle neck and life spans decrease dramatically and only in more modern times with the advancement of medicines, sanitation, nutrition, ect. do we see people living past 100 frequently. So our physical existence is now brief, but it wasn’t always that way. We were originally intended to have a very long physical life alongside with God, but our sin causes us to die and thus end that relationship with God prematurely. So God provides us with an opportunity of redemption to continue to have this eternal relationship with Him, despite death killing us physically. What we lost physically, is reconciled spiritually. Thus, we live briefly physically, but eternally spiritually.

  1. Out of curiosity, what do you think “resurrection” means?

    • matthew2262 says:

      Hi Thomas,

      I think I’d need more context for your question to better answer it. Off hand, I broadly define resurrection as the renewing or rejuvination of something lost. Christ was killed and physically dead, yet was physically restored to life.

      Thank you for your comment.

  2. matthew2262 says:

    42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

    If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we[g] bear the image of the heavenly man.

    -1 Corinthians 15:42-49 (NIV)

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