• Hope In Christ

What Happens When I Die?


Is this all there is to life?

Is this all there is?

Or, as Shakespeare writes Mercutio’s final moments in the play, Romeo and Juliet, “They have made worm’s meat of me.”

Is this our destiny…to become compost and nothing more? Those who hold to the accidental creation theory (Big Bang) and the proposition that we are nothing more than ‘naked apes’(1) will find Mercutio’s proclamation a good fit for their philosophy. But even they cannot deny a haunting sense deep inside that man is something more or at least he ought to be. You see God has placed eternity in their hearts(2) and they know at some level that they are more than sophisticated animals.

Have you felt that pull to more and yet no matter how you try to fill it with things, people, power, prestige, performance, it continues to demand satisfaction? Have you considered that you are more? You might say, “I know I have a soul or psyche(3) and a personality, but that is just what makes me, me. It really has nothing to do with what happens after death. My ‘soul’ dies with me.”

The only problem with this reasoning is that it isn’t true, and deep inside you know that a ‘slow ride in a hearse’ is not your final stop. In fact, by the time those left behind place you in the ground you have already arrived at your final and eternal destination; Heaven or hell, in the presence of God or forever in utter darkness and torment, totally alone with the knowledge of your sin and the never ending payment for it.

We will all stand before the Lord and give an account of our lives. You might say, “Well, I am sure my good will outweigh my bad, and I will get in.” The only problem is it is not about deeds, it is about identity. Deeds or actions are a result of what we believe and what we believe comes from the heart of who we are. “But I am a good person, I am only human and the Lord will take that into consideration. He is a God of love you say, and a loving God would not send people to hell in torment for all eternity.”

You are half right. God is a loving Heavenly Father, but He is also just. He has created us in His image with the ability to think and the nobility of choice. Animals act by instinct, human beings reason and choose based upon what they believe. The determining belief is centered on the issue of control.

If I am in control of my life and destiny, and I have to figure out what is best for me and do it, then in essence, I am ‘god’ of my own life, and I really don’t have to recognize or listen too or obey an external being or His rules. The only problem, if you will admit it, is that you are powerless to change others in order to get what you want, and even worse, you find yourself unable to tame a self defeating destructive force within. Oh, it can be suppressed and temporarily escaped with pleasure and stimulation and sedation, but in the sober silence a nagging thought creeps through, ‘is this all there is, what happens when it is all over, what am I missing, where am I going?’ But when you regain ‘your control’ you might say, ‘let us eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow we die’. In this call to escapism, you fell to realize you have quoted scripture, but left out the final authority, one greater than you. Also notice that accumulation of things and pleasure is not eternal and can end in a heartbeat.

18 Then he said, ‘this is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ [Luke 12:18-20]

It maybe that you recognize your failures and hopeless state, but feel and know you are powerless to change it. However, it is necessary to survive and put on the face of control, all the while inside fear is dictating your life. If you show your weakness and vulnerability ‘they’ will devour you, so you hide unnoticed, make excuses and blame others and ‘fate’ or Karma and spiral into bitterness wondering why you are friendless.

See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; [Hebrews 12:15]

Depending upon your personality type, some will strike out at others trying to control relationships and surroundings, and blaming those that don’t do what they want for the way they feel, some will build walls of protection and isolation and become imprisoned by their own fears of failure and rejection.

As a well known TV doctor might ask, “How is that working for you?”

If you are tired of this thing you call ‘life’, you are in the perfect position to know about real life and by the way, it is eternal. You see God even tells us what eternal life is:

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. [John 17:3]

Not biological life or bios in the Greek which all living creatures have, but Zoë, the very essence of God’s life. Now, it makes sense, God sent Jesus to give us another form of life, but it is more than that, you see we were dead and we needed to be made alive. You may say, “I am not dead, I am breathing, thinking and feeling.” But my friend, you are dead, separated from the source of real life the very form we were always intended to have for all eternity. The Life of God indwelling us, empowering us to live as the apex of all creation in His Image reflecting union with God by His spirit.

24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him{God the Father} who sent Me{Jesus}, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. 25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. [John 6:24-29]

{Jesus speaking} The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. [John 10:10]

The Greek word used for life is Zωή or English spelling Zoë (4).

The question: do you have God life or just biological existence? God has made away to have this life and His way is Jesus. In fact, He said,

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. [John 14:6]

“Real life begins with knowing Jesus Christ in a personal, life-changing way."

We encourage people to believe in Jesus Christ. Believing literally means to put your trust in Jesus, being confident He will do what He says and keep His promises. Another way of saying it is to receive Him, accepting Him as the Lord and Savior He is.

As we bow our knees and humble our hearts before Jesus, His Spirit grants us repentance(5) and a new birth - the beginning of real life. We experience a life joined with the living God, transformed into a new creation. We begin a journey of knowing Him to be life itself, always sufficient for our every need [John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17].

You can know Christ. You can experience new life. You can begin to live a life of lasting purpose, real hope, and genuine peace. [A life God always intended for His mankind to have.] Simply yield yourself to His control. Accept His promise. Believe He is who He says He is: Son of God, Savior of mankind, Lord of life. Ask Him to forgive you, make you His own, and take control of your life. Ask Him to grant you new life and a fresh start. Yield to His love, His mercy, and His grace. Open your heart and speak to Him in your own words. Call on Him to save you and give you eternal life. The Bible tells us whoever calls on the Lord shall be saved [Romans 10:11-13].

Jesus said, "God loved people so much He sent His only begotten Son so they may have eternal life." He also said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. Nobody can get to the Father except through me." And, "This is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus

Christ, whom You have sent," [John 3:16, 14:6, 17:3)]“(6)

(1) The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal (Hardback: ISBN 0-07-043174-4; Reprint: ISBN 0-385-33430-3) is a 1967 book by zoologist and ethnologist Desmond Morris that looks at humans as a species and compares them to other animals

(2) 11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. [Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NASB)]

(3) In psychology, the psyche is the totality of the human mind, conscious and unconscious.

(4) Zoë; life, referring to the principle of life in the spirit and soul. Distinguished from bios, physical life, livelihood, of which zoe’ is nobler word, expressing all of the highest and best which Christ is and which He gives to the saints. The highest blessedness of the creature. From The Complete Word Study New Testament, page 906, Strongs number 2222, compiled and edited by Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D.

(5) 24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. [2 Tim 2:24-26]

(6) Pastor Sam Brooks, Know Christ, The Open Door, opendoorla.org

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