Life After Death
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:1–2).- John 14:1–4
Our study yesterday reaffirmed the necessity of dying in faith so that we will enter into eternal glory instead of eternal punishment. Death for the Christian might be the end of suffering but it is not the end of our communion with God. In fact, after we die, we will experience intimacy with God far more deeply than we ever have in this life.
Today we will look at the promise Jesus gives to His disciples regarding their heavenly home. The first thing we must notice is that the idea of life after death is not limited to Christianity. In fact, people from every nation and religion, with the possible exception of metaphysical naturalists, expect that their lives will not end when they die. Whether the person confesses belief in reincarnation or something analogous to heaven, it is difficult to find someone who denies the possibility of life after death.
Although we know that these contradictory ideas about the afterlife cannot all be correct, this universal expectancy for an afterlife with corresponding punishments and rewards for deeds done prior to death actually demonstrates the truth of Scripture. Romans 1 tells us that all men know that God exists and will judge us for our conformity to His will as revealed in nature. The lack of justice in this present life along with humanity’s conscious knowledge of and denial of the God of the Bible produces all manner of false religions and claims about the afterlife. Even though false conceptions about life after death abound, by hoping for an afterlife, men affirm with Scripture that without a final judgment, life is meaningless and ethics are impossible.
Those apart from Christ falsely hope that they will enter into paradise. However, Christians can be sure that they will enter glory at their death. For we have the sure promise of Jesus, found in places like today’s passage, that He will one day bring all of His followers into His Father’s house. As we will see tomorrow, Jesus’ resurrection guarantees the truthfulness of His words affirming that believers alone can expect to dwell with God forever after they die.
It is possible to become so preoccupied with the cares of this world that we forget that our deaths are not the end. The sufferings and travails of life will one day give way to the bliss of heaven for all of those who trust in Jesus. How often do you contemplate the joys of eternal life? Spend some time today meditating on the fact that you will spend eternity with the Father. Let this knowledge motivate you to entrust all you have into His mighty hand.
Passages for Further Study