Seriously. Have you considered what is next if you die this minute? Have you considered there is a next when you die? Do you believe in a heaven? Is there a hell? What are the consequences for our lives?
I know, it is a heady topic to deal with but deal with it we must. Let me correct that. We ‘should’ deal with it. We need to deal with it because the results of not dealing with it will place our eternal outcome in jeopardy.
God’s word teaches us two critical facts about ourselves; what we consider our life here is but a shadow of our existence, and what we choose, while we are present in in these bodies, determines where we exist going forward. It’s just as straightforward as that.
There are also two ramifications based on our response to these two facts as stated in scripture. First, if we accept this truth, we have a choice in our eternal destiny. The other, if we choose not to accept this truth, our destiny is set, and we have no control over the outcome.
From the perspective of an observer, should that observer be sincerely ambivalent to the scripture, there is only one logical choice.
The possibility presented to us in God’s Word provides us a choice in our outcome, verses not having a choice whatsoever. Logically, given these two option anyone would choose to have a choice.
Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:27-28 (NIV)
But how many?
He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:10-13 (CSB)
All who will receive Him, those, He gave the power to become the Children of God. That is how many. So, this is according to the scripture, up to us. Our decision, our choice; to receive Jesus Christ or deny Him.
Agnostics are the most pitiful people there are. I’m not saying this to be critical or mean. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that an agnostic would believe they are the supreme authority on where we came from, how we came about, and who was responsible. Then in the very next breath say, we came from nothing, everything happened to be, no one was responsible.
It boggles the mind!
If posed with the question of making a choice to believe in nothingness where we would return to nothingness once this somethingness became naught, verses believing in someone being responsible for us being something, rather than nothing, and embracing that someone so that our something would have a fantastic forever; the choice becomes rather clear. At least it is for me.
The fool says in his heart, “There’s no God.” They are corrupt; they do vile deeds. There is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the human race to see if there is one who is wise, one who seeks God.
Psalms 14:1-2 (CSB)
Yes, there I go with that Bible stuff again. But then, I happen to believe someone was responsible for all this, and that someone is the author of that book. He had numerous scribes to write His words, but His Word is his words.
And if I am wrong about all this, what do I lose when I die? Nothing!
Do you see why the Psalmist said, ‘The fool says in his heart, “there’s no God.”’ I’m not trying to make the agnostic and most of the atheist feel like fools, but they are.
How do I know? God said it. Oh, but there is no God! What does that matter? It doesn’t! If the agnostic is right and I’m wrong, then it doesn’t matter because we came from nothing and will return to nothing, it’s a zero-sum game.
But it isn’t a zero-sum game, it is a choice between life and death.
Okay so there is a God
Pity for the one who says, “yes, there is a god, and it’s not the God of the Bible, it’s
Pity yes because they’ve surrendered to the fact we are not the result of happenstance. At least, I think that is what they believe.
There is a few of the evolutionists, we talked about in our discussion about agnostics, who believe we came from a higher power. Those would be the few atheists that are not agnostic. See they feel that god however they define god as, started us out as a lower life form and we adapted our way from slime to human form. Talk about a leap of faith!
The other religions of the world outside of the New Covenant established by Jesus Christ all suffer from the same affliction. In every other case, the core of their religion positions man seeking a relationship with their definition of god. Where has Christianity is founded on the principle of God the creator seeking mankind.
In many of those other religions there is no afterlife, no reward for adherence to the tenants of their faith. I’d. have to say, “Why bother?”
As for the others, nothing else pairs to the human spirit as does the God of the Bible. This makes sense as His Word says we were created by Him and created in His likeness. So, there is a kinship we have with Him. Again, this is something that no other religion can boast of. We are actually invited to have an abiding, deep relationship with our creator.
But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name
John 1:12 (CSB)
We don’t have time to get into the awesome privilege it is to become a child of the creator. This adoption is profound and everlasting. It is the basis on which we make that determination between eternal life with Him, or eternal death separated from Him.
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your savior, you’re already condemned to death. The wonder of faith in Jesus Christ is that, He took the terminal hit for us. He died in our place so we could have a life with Him now, and a life eternally with him when this body becomes worn-out and cast aside.
We can have the confidence that if this body were to perish 15 seconds from now, we will be with Him and living life as we have never experienced.
So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 (NLT)
Back to the question
Fifteen seconds, your dead, what’s next? If you haven’t considered it you should, because if you wait till this life has expired, it is too late to make your choice. Your choice must be made now, before it is too late.
Paul talks about this in Hebrews.
He did not do this to offer himself many times, as the high priest enters the sanctuary yearly with the blood of another. Otherwise, he would have had to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now he has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for people to die once — and after this, judgment — so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:25-28 (CSB)
He (Jesus) didn’t present Himself repeatedly for the sins of the world as the sacrifices of the Old Testament demanded. He was and is the ‘Perfect Lamb of God’, and specifically took upon Himself the sin of all humanity, past, present, and future.
He did this so that no one need suffer for the sin in their lives but have salvation from death though this one ‘perfect’ sacrifice, himself.
It didn’t end there, after he took our sin to the grave with his death, He triumphed over death and rose again three days later. Something that would be impossible for a man to do. This required a person who was all God and all man, it required Jesus the Perfect Lamb of God.
For us, we all have an appointment with death. We die once. Then we have life eternal with Jesus if we have trusted on Him for our salvation. If we haven’t then we end up dying twice. First the physical death, which all flesh is subject to, then eternal death, which is complete and permanent separation from the creator.
Having an engineering background, I like to think of this in a mathematical format.
Once born, equals, dying twice
Twice born, equals, dying once
Spiritual death is eternal separation from God. Not to be taken casually. As with that emotional separation there is the full force of agony, anguish, and pain. If you’ve ever had and injury or chronic pain, imagine that pain amplified to a point beyond our comprehension, then consider that there is never any relief from that pain. That’s what eternal separation from God is.
Far too much to gamble on the chance that God isn’t there, we happened by chance, and there is no heaven or hell. It isn’t worth the risk, not to facilitate ourselves with choices. Then once we have concluded that, exercise the choice of life.
What is next?
In His Grace,