The Case for Heaven Young Reader's Edition

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Can We Live Forever?

One day, you’ll live forever as a brain floating in a glass jar.

At least that’s what you might believe if you watch enough science fiction movies or cartoons. But these fictional depictions of immortality aren’t too far off from experiments and testing that are happening today.

Billionaire inventors are experimenting with implanting computer chips into the human brain to extend life. One Russian billionaire is working to create a digital copy of a person’s brain. By replicating someone’s personality, memories, and thought processes into technology, it would make it possible to live forever as an avatar or robot.

For thousands of years, humans have been looking for ways to live longer. World-conqueror Alexander the Great searched for a healing river to extend his life. Alexander added lands to the Greek empire, but he couldn’t add any days to his life. He died at age thirty-two in 323 B.C. Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon famously searched for the fountain of youth in Florida in the early 1500s. If he found it, it didn’t work. Ponce died at forty-seven.

Currently, the oldest man to ever live was Methuselah. The Bible says he lived to 969 (Genesis 5:27). That’s a lot longer than today’s average life expectancy of around eighty years.

Methuselah was the great-great-great-great-great grandson of Adam, the first man God created. At the beginning of the Bible, people often lived more than nine hundred years. Some Bible experts believe people lived longer back then because it was right after God made his perfect world. He designed humans to live longer, but disobedience brought death. When Adam and Eve sinned, it created a countdown on their lives. From then on, people have lived fewer years.

The Bible reveals that after the flood in Genesis 6–9, people didn’t live as long. The next few books in the Old Testament show people’s lifespans were very similar to what they are today. Even Moses lived to only 120, which is two years less than Jeanne Calment—a French woman who died in 1997 at the age of 122.

To learn more about people’s desire to cheat death and live forever, I flew to Orange County, California, to talk with Clay Butler Jones. This author, leader, and professor has defended the truth of Christianity against experts from other religions. He’s not afraid of writing and speaking about difficult topics. One of his most recent books is titled Immortal: How the Fear of Death Drives Us and What We Can Do About It. And that’s exactly what I wanted to discuss with him.