Five hundred people saw Jesus after He arose from the dead. If we do not believe that He is alive, we cannot call ourselves Christians, I Cor. 15:16. He showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs. God called what the witnesses saw, infallible proofs, Acts 1:3.
Jesus upbraided some people for their hardness of heart when they did not believe the ones who saw Jesus after He arose from the grave, Mark 16:14.
If you put someone on the stand that did not see anything, know anything, or hear anything, he wouldnt be a good witness.
Lets put Stephen on the stand. Among a great cloud of witnesses, signs and wonders and miracles followed when Stephen preached Christ. Gods Word declares that he was of honest report and full of the Holy Ghost. He saw a great revival. He had enough grace to tell his persecutors that they were stiff-necked and uncircumsized of heart - that they were resisting the Holy Ghost. He told the same thing to all the religious leaders.
In the face of deadly stones, Stephen looked up and declared that he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father. In the presence of a great cloud of witnesses, he was welcomed home by Jesus Christ Himself.
No one can deny this scene and the life beyond and still believe the infallible Word of God.
Let us call Saint John to the stand.
"John, do you know He lives today? Do you know there is life beyond the grave?"
"Beyond any doubt," John answers. "I was with Him for years. If anyone knew Him, I did. I leaned on His breast. I saw Him on the mountain. I saw Him in the temple. I saw Him in the valley. I saw Him in the wilderness. I saw Him in the garden. I saw Him on the cross. I saw Him at the whipping posts. I saw Him at the cross and He was pronounced dead, and put into the tomb. I saw the tomb sealed, "I was an eyewitness when He met us behind closed doors and ate with us. He appeared to me when I was on the isle of Patmos. I talked with Him for hours. He let me look into the heavens and see ten thousands times ten thousand witnesses. I saw thousands and thousands of people who are still alive now. They live on and on. They are there now praising the One who lives forever and ever and ever."
Out of the five hundred witnesses, one of the most influential witnesses was Paul. He was a rank unbeliever, a persecutor, a blasphemer, and a officer who tried to destroy all the disciples of Jesus.
Let us call Paul to the stand. "Why, Paul, have you had a change of heart? Why did you change instantly?"
Paul answered, "I met the risen Lord face to face and was convinced, Acts 9:5. Jesus is alive and well, forever more! I became a new creature in Christ Jesus. Old things have passed away and behold, all things became new."
Let us call one more group to the stand. Who are these people? These are the people who throughout the ages gave their lives for their testimonies. They are sincere witnesses. They are now under the altar in heaven. Listen to what they are saying:
"How long, O Lord, Holy and True, doest thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth." I see the Lord giving everyone of them white robes and telling them to wait just a little while, Rev. 6:9-11.
This group includes Stephen, John the Baptist and the teeming thousands of people who have had their lives taken for their testimony from the foundation of the world until now.
Why take anymore witnesses? Is there one who can prove what these people witnessed is not the truth?
Oh, a witness from hell?
Here is a testimony being sent back to us from hell!
This testimony says, "Eternity is real. Hell is real. Life after death is more real than life on earth. DONT COME THIS WAY! DONT COME THIS WAY! Turn to God!!
Along with this witness will be King Saul who stubbornly refused to repent. He fell on his own sword, crying, "I have sinned." He committed suicide, I Sam. 31:4.
That rich man is still alive in hell right now, crying back to the world, "Dont come this way. Go tell my five brothers to please not come this way." Abel is still witnessing against Cain,
Hebrews 11:4. All these men, being dead still speaketh. They are living on to be united with their bodies, to appear at the judgment, to witness against themselves, Romans 1 4: 11, to receive their sentence. Their own mouth will condemn them, Matt. 12:37. There is a life beyond, heaven and hell. It is a reality!
If you havent asked Jesus to come into your heart and be your Lord and Saviour. Ask Him now. Your destination of heaven or hell is as important to me as it is to you. Why? Because I know it is real .people have died and came back to tell about it. And God is not a liar. We could go at any given moment and eternity is a long time! Think about it.
Dr. J. Gardner