One Life To Live
July 12, 2002 • By Ed Wrather
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. - Jeremiah 1:4-5.
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. - Hebrews 9:27.
In the 1965 Webster’s dictionary that I have cryogenics is defined as, “a branch of physics that relates to the production and effects of very low temperatures.” Cryogen is defined as a “refrigerant.” In 1965 cryonics is only known possibly to the comic book and science fiction reader but in the year 2002 no longer is cryonics a little known and obscure science. Cryonics in only a few weeks has become known to the world with the body of baseball great Ted Williams to be cryonically deep-frozen upside down in one of Alcor Life Extension Foundation’s tanks cooled to a minus 196 degrees. For a few select people there will be room for a few of their heads in the top of Ted Williams’ tank.
The hope of many is that someday science will have advanced to the point that their bodies can be revived and that whatever the cause of their death that it will be reversed. Also many believe that their cryonically frozen heads will be able to have an artificially created body or a body transplant. Others hope their bodies will be cloned and they will wake up in that new body. Others have a more realistic hope that their DNA will be used to clone them knowing that they will be different people than they are.
One question, which is often asked, is at what point does a person undergo cryonic suspension? At the present time it can only be performed after a person has been declared legally dead although there apparently has already been some attempts to do so before actual death occurs. The spiritual question is at what point does death occur? Obviously if a person has been declared legally dead they are dead. However, if a person were alive and experienced cryonic suspension before death would the suspension result in death? We do know that life can come from frozen embryos. At this point no one really knows for sure because no one has successfully been revived from cryonic suspension. My personal belief is that because of the complexities of the human body as compared to an embryo that revival will never be possible.
Even in the face of scientific breakthroughs and marvels God is still God and we accept that by faith. When a person dies they no longer inhabit the physical body or “tent” as the apostle Paul called it. If you are a Christian having been born again the part of you that knows, reasons, and thinks when you die will be “absent from the body” and “present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5). If that body that you once inhabited is cloned or revived it will not and could not be you that lives within it because you will be with the Lord. It is appointed unto man to truly die “once.”
God knew you before you were even born and had a plan for your life just as He did for Jeremiah’s life. We have only one life to live. Let us live it well!