A man went to a cemetery for a burial. He arrived ahead of the procession, and as he waited for the arrival of others, he occupied himself reading the epitaphs. He saw one across the way that caught his attention. It said, “Death Is Eternal.” He thought that it was the most depressing thing he had ever seen on a tombstone, but when he went nearer he found that another stone had obscured part of that one. The full message was “Death Is Eternal Life.” If we let anything obscure the biblical view of life or death, we will be sadly and widely misled.


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A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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There was much space given for eulogies of the celebrated atheistic essayist, Christopher Hitchens. Even those who disagreed strongly with Hitchens enjoyed his writings and praised his independence and courage. Nevertheless, Hitchens was not just an atheist; he was an anti-theist, as well as anti-religion, believing it spoils everything. He said so in his book, God Is Not Great. In his suffering and death, he did not change his mind about God and the possibility of a life to come, although he did appreciate the good wishes from everyone, including Christians who were praying for him.

Not long ago in a debate, Hitchens spoke of death and said, “It will happen to all of us that at some point, you get tapped on the shoulder and told not just that the party’s over, but slightly worse: The party’s going on, but you have to leave.” We Christians have a different point of view. However much we enjoy this life, we believe that when we leave this earth we actually are going to the party and that party will never end.


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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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In his latter days, Johnny Cash, whose spiritual renewal has been well documented, produced a series of songs, now collected in a CD under the title Ain’t No Grave. The music contains his musings on faith and life after death. The only original song on the album is one titled “1 Corinthians 15:55.” In case you need a reminder, the words that inspired Cash are, “Where, O Death is your victory? Where O death is your sting?” That song contains a stanza that says, “Oh, let me sail on with my ship to the East/And keep my eye on the North Star/When the journey is no good for men or for beast/I’ll be safe wherever You are.”


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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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