The subject of life after death is very touchy – even for Christians. For some, it is debatable, especially where other faiths are concerned, but the Word of God explains it all very thoroughly.
I write this as I await the passing of my nephew who is dying of cancer. But in truth, we will all come to the end of our lives eventually and must be prepared to face the inevitable. The King James Version says, and I quote, “It is appointed unto man once to die, but after that the judgment.” The best thing that can happen is that a man dies in his sleep like the old song “The Gambler” sung by Kenny Rogers, or be carried away by the call to “Come up here” during the rapture.
Most of us live life as though it will never end, and in reality, it never does. In so many words, Jesus tells us that we are eternal beings and that we never “really die.” Death is just the transitional state from one reality to another.
Nevertheless, we chase one thing after another to gratify ourselves, be it the acquisition of money, fame, or power. A few of us would like to leave a legacy of being a good and decent person, and some achieve that status. But all too often, we waste our lives in confusion, not knowing who or what we are.
Last night I watched a documentary on Netflix of a young football hero who, after experiencing a sexual relationship with another young man to whom he was attracted, became a bisexual person intent on experiencing both worlds, not knowing he was giving Satan entrance into his life. At the very same time, he was smoking marijuana to enhance his feelings of euphoria and invincibility. Certain drugs and natural ability helped to make him a star on the gridiron. One thing led to another, and he eventually gunned down other men in fits of rage. Satan was doing what he always does to those willing to give in to promiscuity – taking over.
In prison and with his promising life in shambles, he may have come to his senses and cried out to God in repentance (He was found with “John 3:16” written across his forehead), but he had already decided to commit suicide and continued to follow through on doing so.
Life is fleeting, and many, if not most of us, don’t really know where we are headed after we die, and so we live in constant fear. A Christian should have the assurance that only the Bible can give. You don’t have to be a theologian to figure these things out; all you have to do is study scripture diligently. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” “Study to show yourself approved, rightly dividing the word of God.” In so doing, live a worry-free life.
While Mormons believe we evolve into gods after we die, I can’t find that to be the case in the King James Version of the Bible or any other versions of Holy writ except the book of Mormon, which was written by a delusional man named Joseph Smith.
Catholics believe there is a holding pen called purgatory where a person’s sins are somehow purged while they remain chained up in limbo. Living relatives and others can pray for the deceased, and the virgin Mary can also pray for you according to their belief system.
A dear neighbor, who is a devout Catholic, was unsure of where she would spend eternity. Learning of her dilemma, I printed out various verses of scripture that assure those who believe on Jesus Christ of eternal life with Him.
Assurance of salvation… Anna and her friend received the good news with open arms.
Muslims, on the other hand, believe that their god Allah will reward them in the hereafter only if they pursue jihad – war with people of other faiths (infidels).
Born-again Christians who are committed to the Holy Scriptures believe what the Word of God tells them about such things in full.
In death, we transition from earthly life to wherever we are destined to spend eternity. This depends on whether we have received Christ as Savior or not. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Also, see John 3:16 among many other verses, such as: “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11). “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life: and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).
Another more explicit passage is this one: “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:12-13).
The way I understand it, “Born-Again” believers in Christ are destined to appear at the Bema Seat of Christ after death, not for judgment, but to receive their just rewards for being a faithful servant of Jesus who died for us. On the other hand, the Great White Throne Judgment, before whom the rest of humanity will give account, is severe in nature. There, God the Father will inquire what you did with your knowledge of Christ. Most will have to admit they spurned God’s free gift of salvation that Christ Jesus provided by his atoning death, and God the Father will not be pleased.
To be sure, many people suffer prior to death, but even this is a blessing in that the relief experienced at death can only be absolute bliss.
As time goes by, and I get closer and closer to the end, I thank God for a relationship with our beloved creator – for all the beauty He created in this wonderful wonderland made just for us – refreshing water to drink and bathe in, food to savor, animals, pets, etc. The list is endless. And last but not least is the love between man and woman.