A motivational manual focuses on the Christian concepts of death and the afterlife.
This slim volume from Swets (Finding Happiness, 2015, etc.) takes a very simple and straightforward approach. The author, a pastoral counselor, assembles virtually everything in Christian Scripture pertaining to death and the afterlife. “Life is a battleground. Death is an enemy,” Swets writes. “If you have been hurt in this fight, or if you feel you have already lost the battle for faith, do not despair. Victory is still possible.” The author quotes from the Gospels, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation, in all cases stressing the notes of hope and continuation. In this sense, Jesus’ words in the Gospel of St. Matthew form the guiding sentiment: “For I am with you always, to the end of the age.” The book’s organization invites easy consultation: Sections are short and relevant Scriptural passages are offset in italics. And Swets’ scriptural interpretations make all the customary logical and deductive jumps that Christian eschatology requires. “The Bible does not tell us a great deal about this intermediate state,” he writes at one point, discussing the transition from earthly flesh to resurrected eternal life. “Lack of detail is part of the grand mystery of God.” And lack of detail applies to the whole discussion here. “Historical fact lays the groundwork for our hope,” Swets asserts. “We are not talking about wish fulfillment or mystic vision or conjecture. God’s power raised Jesus Christ—body and soul—from the dead. This is the historical basis for the hope of our own bodily resurrection.” Of course, no historical facts attest to the resurrection of Jesus or any other person; mystic visions and conjectures are what the author has to deal with. The Christian faithful, for whom this work is obviously written, will already be familiar with both its verses and interpretations. But there’s a comfort and ease to having all of the relevant passages collected in one handy volume.
An inspirational but familiar guide to the promises of eternity offered by Christian Scripture.