Bible Truth for Today about DESTINY
( What happens when I die - what's next ?)
( What happens when I die - what's next ?)
Everyone has some level of desire to know what lies ahead. In fact there are many times when you MUST know the answer to the question – “What’s Next ?” If you work in a production line, you need to know the next step in the process. If you are a student sitting in class, you need to know where your next class is. If you are playing chess, you should be thinking ahead to your next move. If you are approaching retirement, you are likely planning, wondering or dreaming about what will come next. There is an order, a progression, to most everything in life. A crucial question must be answered – after this life is over, WHAT’S NEXT? Many people believe that this life is all there is – when it’s over, it’s over! Others believe that we come back to this earth in some other form – perhaps an animal, or an insect. For those who DO believe in life after this one, there are many theories about who goes where, what it will be like, etc. We can speculate about those things, but can we really KNOW the answers with certainty? The answer is a resounding YES! That which is revealed to us in the Bible is absolute truth – so that we can KNOW things with certainty and assurance. The Bible is clear that there is a real place called heaven and a real place called hell. Everyone will spend eternity in one place or the other. But, on what basis do some go to heaven and others go to hell? God determined that the answer lies with you – it is your response to what God has said and done. Let me explain what it is that God has said and done, and what our response needs to be. The Bible says that everyone has sinned(Romans 3:23) and that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). This is what God did – He loved you SO much that He sent Jesus to die in your place to pay that penalty, and He told us that whoever believes in Jesus would not die (the penalty for sin) but, instead, would have eternal life (John 3:16). Now, that’s good news! But we must respond to that good news. The only response acceptable to God is “believe”. John 3:36 tells us that “He who believes in the Son [Jesus] has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:18 tells us that he who does not believe is condemned. We are told in 1 Peter 3:9 that God is not willing that ANY should die, but that ALL should come to repentance. Let’s define these few major terms.
What is “death”? We use the term generally to describe what happens when a person’s life on this earth is ended. But the Bible speaks of death as separation – ultimately, spiritual death is separation from God. Sin brings condemnation, which results in spiritual death. The Bible says in Romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Are you dead or alive?
What is “repentance”? The idea behind repentance is a change of mind/heart that results in a turn-around in our lives. God requires that we repent of our sin. This basically means that we see our own sin for what it is, that we are truly sorry for our sin and that we turn from it to live differently thereafter. Have YOU repented?
What does the Bible mean when it says we must “believe”? First, it means to be fully persuaded, convinced, or sure that what God said is true. Second, it means to put your confidence, or trust, in God. Only God is worthy of our confidence and our trust. We can have total confidence that what God says, He will do. Third, it means to be committed to loving, worshiping, serving, and obeying God.
Based on these definitions, Do YOU believe?
What’s next? The Bible says that it is appointed to man once to die, and after that he will face God’s judgment (Hebrews 9:27). When the prophet Amos preached to a sinful people he warned them “Prepare to meet your God” (Amos 4:12). What comes next - after this life - is up to you. Will it be an eternity of joy, happiness and peace in the presence of God – or will it be an eternity of suffering and anguish, apart from God, with no hope of EVER changing. Your decision in this life will impact you for all of eternity. Think about it. Are you prepared for what comes next?