How to Live Forever
Scientists believe they’re close to extending life but can today’s technology lead to immortality? Or is the key to eternal life found only in the Bible?
Brother Barry Thompson: We welcome you to this episode of Face the Truth being taped live here in the INC Media studios.
Now today, we have a very relevant topic for you, and it’s something we may not talk about often.
But it’s definitely something always in the back of our minds, and it can fuel our decisions on what we eat, how much we exercise, and even the type of risks that we may take. This is related to the subject matter of our show today.
So, I have to ask a question, and I want you to think about “what would you do to live forever?”
Scientists believe that they have identified some of the mechanisms of aging.
They believe that if they could just manipulate these mechanisms in a positive way, in turn, it would slow the aging process and extend the life way beyond the current human lifespan. Now many are not only on a quest to extend life, but in reality; they are on a quest for immortality.
Just take a look at some of the work being done right now in the biotech industry, including here in the San Francisco bay area.
Female Anchor 1: Silicon Valley technologists have created some of the worlds’ most innovative products. Now they’re reaching even higher by trying to find a cure for aging.
Female Anchor 2: Google’s artificial intelligence, or AI system, can detect breast cancer from routine scans and has proved to be—get this—more accurate than human experts.
Male Anchor 1: Palo Alto investor recently launched a one billion dollar Longevity Prize competition, dedicated to ending aging.
Female Anchor 3: Now, this is a one million dollar prize, which will be given to anyone who can figure out a way to extend our homeostatic capacity, which means that we won’t be degenerating.
Woman: …with the United States spending an estimated 2.3 trillion dollars per year on age-related diseases—
Interviewee 1: Gene editing can be scary for all the reasons you can imagine—
Interviewee 2: It would actually be a crime against humanity to not move forward and find out.
Brother Barry: Now, who wouldn’t want to prolong or extend their life? Especially if you could live healthy and vibrant for as long as we can.
So what would you do to live forever? Now we went out to see what your fellow Bay Area residents had to say. Take a look.
MOS Interviewee 1: So I could stay the same age my entire life? Okay. I would do a lot of traveling, and I would experience more of the world.
MOS Interviewee 2: I would read every book known to man.
MOS Interviewee 3: Live forever? I’d travel, volunteer, try to stay in contact with my family.
MOS Interviewee 4: If I could live forever, I would probably not have as many worries.
MOS Interviewee 3: Definitely lose weight. Because you can see, I’m a petite 250 [lbs]. But try to eat better, exercise definitely, get out and about, get fresh air.
MOS Interviewee 4: Probably stay healthy, physically, and inside.
MOS Interviewee 2: These are tough questions, wow. I would… don’t know, freeze myself? I don’t know. Wait for the advances of medical science?
Brother Barry: There are so many possible choices of things people would do to live forever, but is it possible?
Quite a few people think it is, especially nowadays with computers becoming more and more powerful, and the latest advancements in technology has convinced some of the Silicon Valley tech moguls that it’s not only possible but even within the near future. However, let’s take a step back for a moment and bring up a very important point. Wouldn’t the quest for life extension or immortality imply that we humans have something to do we our existence in the first place?
So, if there is a discussion about extending life, wouldn’t it also mean that we have to discuss about life itself? We know that we did not create life, and that’s for certain. So how could we expect to extend it?
Now when it comes to life, what science has are theories. Now we won’t offer theories here. We will just offer some simple truths. First…
Where did man come from, or how did man come into existence? Allow me to read to you the answer written here in the book Genesis which is the first book of the Bible. Genesis, the chapter is 2, and the verse is 7:
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
[Genesis 2: 7 King James Version]
Brother Barry: So, according to the verse, man was formed from the dust of the ground, created and formed by the Lord God. And after God formed the man, he breathed into the man’s nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
Now, what would happen to man if God takes back man’s breath? Let’s read from the book of Job, chapter 34, and the verses are 14 and 15; this is what we can read:
If God took back the breath of life,
then everyone living would die and turn into dust again.
[Job 34:14–15 Today’s English Version]
Brother Barry: You notice what the Bible says? The Bible says if God took back the breath of life, everyone living would what? Would die.
Has anyone been able to refute this fact, this truth? No, because it’s an irrefutable truth: when man loses his breath, the soul that lives dies and the physical body goes back to the what? To the dust. You don’t need a scientist to tell you this. It is evident.
How then is the reality, the frailty of life described by the Bible? Listen to what is written in the book of James, the chapter is 4, and the verse is 14:
whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
[James 4:14 New King James Version]
Brother Barry: Now you know, as advanced as we are today with technology, it doesn’t take away from what is written in this verse we have just read—that we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow or from one day to the next, right? Now, we don’t know whether we will still be alive tomorrow. Of course, we want to be alive tomorrow, but we just don’t know. That’s why the Bible likens life, man’s life to a what? To a vapor, it appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
That is why there are many instances in which a person may be very much alive today, right? And we see them. But shortly after, we hear news that that person passed away. Just take a look at some of the recent happenings that made headline news.
Anchor 1: Now, so much of the world is just in shock and disbelief, trying to process what has happened today and make some sense of this gigantic loss. Here is what we know right now, and even though it has been several hours, it is still stunning to say the words, that Kobe Bryant, the legendary NBA star is dead tonight. His adorable thirteen-year-old daughter Giana, known as Gigi, also dead tonight.
Anchor 2: Luke Perry’s passing has come as a shock to both family and fans. Many are wondering how such a young and seemingly healthy man could die from a stroke.
Anchor 3: Again, Cameron Boyce just twenty years old dying in his sleep yesterday after suffering sort of a seizure.
Anchor 4: A popular K-Pop star who had long been the target of abusive online comments has died. Sulli, a former member of the top group FX, was found dead in her home earlier today.
Anchor 5: And turn to the sudden and shocking death of rapper Juice World. The twenty-one-year-old who was named Billboard’s Best Artist this year suffered a medical emergency at Chicago’s Midway airport.
Anchor 6: Thousands of fans of Grammy-nominated rapper and community activist Nipsey Hussle are in a state of shock today. They are mourning the hip hop star’s ultimately and violent death.
Brother Barry: News like this forces us to confront our own mortality.
And when our time comes for us to go, it could be from a multitude of ways. It could be from illnesses or diseases, accidents, natural or man-made disasters; it could even be at the hands of our fellowman through crime, violence, and war. It could happen anywhere at any time. In fact, so many people today die just from hunger or malnutrition. Others die from too much nutrition or overeating.
Now the question is this: is man capable of stopping or preventing death? The answer could be found in the book of Ecclesiastes, in Chapter 8 and the verse is 8, let’s read what is stated here:
No one has the power over the spirit to retain the spirit, And no one has power in the day of death.
[Ecclesiastes 8:8 New King James Version]
Brother Barry: Now you know, no company has developed a pill that one can take or some technology that can change the fact of what we just read because no one can put off the day of death. No matter how much we fight it because the Bible says, “no one has the power to keep the wind from blowing. No one has the power to stop his own death.”
Now, in as much as we did not and do not give ourselves life, we also don’t have the power to keep ourselves from dying. Here’s something that we should think about. See if this makes sense. Let’s ask this: do you remember the time before your birth? No, you don’t. Did you decide when you were going to be born? The fact is, there was no such thing as you before you.
You only became you when God planned, decided, and created you. And even if our parents planned to have children, they didn’t know exactly when we would be born or even if we would be born and what we would be like when born. Is that not true?
And so, in as much as we don’t have power over our coming into existence, we also do not have power over our death. Now, this is true for all people on earth regardless of age, whether young or old, social status, whether rich or poor, educational attainment, whether wise or foolish, or ethnic origin. These are the realities about life that we have to face, whether we like it or not.
Now, of course, we live at a time that man’s knowledge is rapidly advancing, especially in the field of technology.
Just take a look at some of these recent headlines of the type of work scientists are doing.
Woman 1: In what seems like the stuff of Frankenstein, scientists are synthesizing artificial life.
Anchor 1: Chinese scientists who claimed to have created the world’s first genetically edited babies revealed another woman in a study is possibly pregnant.
Woman 2: He Jiankui stunned the scientific community. Designer babies—
Woman 3: A team of researchers have trained an AI system to identify breast cancer in mammograms from thousands of women in Britain and the United States.
Man 1: Local researchers plan to use the technology to essentially perform virtual biopsies of brain tumors.
Woman 4: They say their exclusive medical database that can identify thousands of otherwise undetected pathogens from one DNA sample.
Man 2: First, they scrubbed away the cells from the windpipe of a woman who had recently died and replaced them with Castillo’s own stem cells, taken from her hip.
Dr. Anthony Atala: —and [it] was able to prevent the patient’s lung from being removed.
Dr. David Agus: We want to do, we want to live long, and live quality.
Man: You’re not gonna live past 120 no matter what you do.
Dr. Agus: No, but the key is
Man: Well, there might be a way of doing that.
Brother Barry: With all-new advancements in technology, many believe that there will eventually come a time when technology will solve all of man’s problems such as hunger, illnesses, disease, disabilities, and even death.
Now for some, it’s not a matter of if, but when.
And there are those who believe that man will eventually be able to create what they call “inorganic life.” They even say that this will render religion and God obsolete.
This is what Yuval Noah Harrari, a historian exploring the future of mankind, has to say. Please listen.
Yuval Noah Harari: Humankind may have the ability to, first of all, replace natural selection with intelligent design as the fundamental principle of the evolution of life, not the intelligent design of some god above the clouds. We may gain the ability to create the first inorganic life forms after four billion years of organic evolution. And if this succeeds, then this is the greatest revolution since the very beginning of life.
Brother Barry: Let’s ask this question: can man ever gain that kind of power?
How does God show His power over man whom He created, which is why man cannot boast that he is capable of living apart from God?
Deuteronomy 32:39 has this to say:
“See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.
[Deuteronomy 32:39 New International Version]
Brother Barry: Now what we read is a pronouncement of the Almighty God in which He declares that there is no God besides Him. And how does He show His power over man? God says, “I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal.”
Now in relation to what God says, what did Apostle Paul want us to understand about the condition of every human being?
Let’s read Romans chapter 14; the verses are 7 and 8, this time from the Apostle Paul:
For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
[Romans 14:7-8 New King James Version]
Brother Barry: Now, what did Apostle Paul want us to understand about the condition of every man? He said, “none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.” Therefore, no man has the power over the life he has. Now why did Apostle Paul say that? Because he explained, “for if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the lord.”
So, it is sheer foolishness for man to boast before God and say that he does not need to serve the Lord and does not need God because, without God, we don’t exist.
Now, how about the argument that man’s knowledge is increasing and eventually man will be able to control his own destiny. Now there’s no doubt that man’s wisdom is increasing, but does it mean that man’s wisdom can now surpass the wisdom of God the Almighty creator? Let’s listen again to the Apostle Paul, this time 1 Corinthians, chapter 1, the verses are 19, 20, and also verse 25, he says this:
For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
[1 Corinthians 1:19-20, 25 New International Version]
Brother Barry: So you notice God Himself said that He would destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the intelligence of the intelligent He will frustrate? Now Apostle Paul even said that “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,” so we know man cannot stop the earth from spinning, the rain from falling, or change the various laws that govern how the universe operates, which the Almighty God Himself has already put into place with His infinite wisdom.
So how then can man ever think that they will be able to extend life beyond what God allows?
Of course, yes, man may be able to make robots or artificial intelligence, but a robot is still a robot and programmed by man. And artificial intelligence is not true intelligence. It’s still artificial. It’s not the same wisdom and intelligence that only comes from the Almighty God.
So no matter how much research is done or data is acquired, it will never be enough to change the facts and laws of life that the Almighty God has already laid down.
Now, of course, we know that this doesn’t stop man from studying, right? And from gaining more and more knowledge about life, and of course, there is nothing wrong with learning and studying.
However, what was concluded by one of God’s servants before, which is just as true today?
The book of Ecclesiastes, in 12, 12, and 13, here is what one wise man concluded:
My child, there is something else to watch out for. There is no end to the writing of books, and too much study will wear you out.
After all this, there is only one thing to say: Have reverence for God, and obey his commands, because this is all that we were created for.
[Ecclesiastes 12:12-13 Good News Translation]
Brother Barry: You hear that? The Bible teaches that there is no end to the writing of books, studying, and learning. And it’s a fact that we have more knowledge of how things work today than we did 100 years ago, right? And if God will allow that man will continue, another twenty years or more, we will even know more in the future. But the question is, will we ever know enough to keep ourselves from dying? No. We will never know that. So it’s just an effort in futility. It’s a waste of time.
So then what should man do or give more importance to? The Bible says, “have reverence for God, and obey his commands because this is all that we were created for.”
Yet we know that these biblical truths do not stop man in his desire to live as long as he can, right? That desire is something that burns within the hearts of humans. We wish we could live for how long? We wish that we could live forever. Wouldn’t it be nice to never have to worry about dying? Wouldn’t that be something good?
The good news about what we’re learning today is that we actually do have the opportunity to live forever. It’s just not by our own power but rather the power of God who created us.
So what did our Lord God decree that man must do for him to be able to live again even if he dies? We’ll read what is written in 1 Corinthians the chapter is 15 and the verse is 22, it says:
For just as all people die because of their union with Adam, in the same way all will be raised to life because of their union with Christ.
[1 Corinthians 15:22 Good News Translation]
Brother Barry: Now Apostle Paul said, “all will be raised to life because of their union with” whom? With our Lord Jesus Christ. So the solution to overcoming death is following God’s decree that we must be in union with our Lord Jesus Christ.
So what we need to find out is what has union with Christ? In Colossians, the chapter is one, and the verse is 18:
And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
[Colossians 1:18 New King James Version]
WHAT DID JESUS PROMISE?
Brother Barry: Now Apostle Paul said He (referring to Christ) is head of the body, the Church. So, the Church is what has union with Christ, and so those who are in the Church are the ones who get to live again after they die. Now, why are we certain of that?
What did Christ promise to those in His Church? Matthew 16 and 18, we’re going to read the very pronouncement of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
[Matthew 16:18 Revised Standard Version]
Brother Barry: So, Christ, Himself promised His Church that not even death will prevail against it.
Which church? Which church is the one built by Christ for which He gave His life and promised that not even death will prevail against it? That’s an important question for us to ask as well, as it deserves an answer. Let’s read Acts, the chapter is 20, and the verse is 28, here is the answer:
Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.
[Acts 20:28 Lamsa Bible]
Brother Barry: So you notice that the apostles teach that Christ redeemed the Church Of Christ with his blood, or He gave his life for His church, which can be read in Ephesians, 5, and the verse is 25. So, those who are members of the Church Of Christ are the ones who will be raised to life after death.
So the Church Of Christ, therefore, plays a critical role in our desire to live forever. And this is what so many people don’t even realize today.
Well, what are changes will occur for those who are fortunate enough to be included among those who will be raised to life? We’ll read now; we’ll go back to 1 Corinthians. We’ll read chapter 15 the verses are 51 to 53:
Listen to this secret truth: we shall not all die, but when the last trumpet sounds, we shall all be changed in an instant, as quickly as the blinking of an eye. For when the trumpet sounds, the dead will be raised, never to die again, and we shall all be changed. 53 for what is mortal must be changed into what is immortal; what will die must be changed into what cannot die.
[1 Corinthians 15:51–53 Good News Translation]
Brother Barry: Now for those who are in union with Christ because they are members of His Church or the Church Of Christ, the Bible says, “we shall all be changed.”
What changes will take place?
The Bible says, “what is mortal must be changed into what is immortal; what will die must be changed into what cannot die.” Now isn’t that what people desire so much, is to become immortal and not have to worry about dying? Isn’t that what so many people want?
How many billions are being spent on research in the quest for immortality, which is just an effort in futility?
What was needed all along was for man to follow the commands of God, and immortality will be ours.
And so, the ability to extend life or achieve immortality is not found in a lab, nor on a computer or even in the mind of some genius whether alive today or yet to be born. It will definitely not be the result of some artificial intelligence.
Instead, immortality rests on the power of the Almighty God, the Creator, and His infinite wisdom. And He is offering life eternal to man if man would only follow what He commands.
So now we just have to learn exactly what God wants us to do. The question to you is this: is living forever important enough for you to seek and find out exactly what God wants you to do? That’s the question for you to answer.
And we’ll leave it up to you to decide. It is your choice.
And no matter where you are on your journey and search for purpose and direction, may tonight’s event bring you one step closer to the truth you’re looking for. The Bible says in John 8:32:
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I am Brother Barry Thompson, God bless.