What is the meaning of life and what happens after I die?
There has been no better time to give this question some serious thought than now.
I will not go into all the confusing, man-made explanations for why we're on this earth and what will happen
to us when we die, but I will explain the concept that has been around for thousands of years, a belief Christians have been
tortured or killed for having, even to this day (it didn't end in the Roman Coliseum). It is a belief
that has caused people to turn their sinful lives around and live pure for years - alcoholics, drug addicts
and prostitutes reform, violent gang members give up their lifestyle and become preachers, even celebrities who have all the money, drugs, and sex they can handle, are still so empty that they just want God in
their life. Many potential suicide victims have spared their own lives by surrendering to God and not looking to the
world or themselves for peace and happiness anymore.
But where are you at? Maybe your life is going just fine and you don't see a need for "religion". Perhaps
you've been turned off of it by judgmental Christians in the past, people who will preach at you what you should do, then
turn around and do the opposite, themselves. You could be one of many who has their "own beliefs".
Things may be going smoothly in this lifetime, but what happens after you die? Nothing? Heaven?
If you think nothing will happen, you will simply turn to dust, that is a pretty depressing belief. Why
were we even put on this world in the first place? A scientific coincidence?
The entire idea of Heaven came from God's word, the Bible. So you have to decide if what it says is true,
or false - simple as that. You cannot take bits and pieces of the bible, the things you want to believe and expect to
go to Heaven. God does not want fair-weather followers anymore than you want to commit to a man who says, "I know marriage
is supposed to be monogamous, but I want to be able to sleep with someone else once in a while. I'll still provide for
you - I'll support the kids, do the yard work, and even take you on nice holidays, But I don't like the idea of only
being with one woman the rest of my life. That doesn't work for me."
You want all or nothing, right? So does God.
So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
So you like the idea of Heaven. How do you know you're going there? You can come up with your ideas of
how you're a "good person" but you will never know until you die. The Bible, which introduces Heaven to us, gives us
a detailed explanation on how we can know we're going to Heaven when we die. Are you going to count on "your own beliefs"
or a book that has been around for thousands of years?
What makes a good person? Someone who doesn't lie, cheat, steal? And who decides what is right and wrong? Animals
steal from each other and kill each other, why is it okay for them and not us? God developed the moral system and it has been
there since the beginning of time. Our human nature is opposite of what God wants us to be. When we're born we're
instantly selfish, taking everything and offering nothing. As we grow older, we learn to be kind and generous to others
and not think of ourselves. If we were left on our own and taught no morals we would essentially do whatever we pleased
without a second thought.
Sin is sin, from what we consider the smallest - a white lie - to the worst - murder, child molestation, etc.
God is perfect, and we are born sinful. Since good and evil cannot exist together, God sent his son Jesus to die for
our sins and to be raised again as a mediator between us and God. If we refuse to believe that Jesus is our savior,
and continue living our lives in sin, we are blocking access to God.
We will never be sinless, but as Christians we are given the opportunity to confess our sins to God so they will
be forgiven. In addition, we are to live our lives to please God, not ourselves.
God loves us and wants to spend eternity with us. Our purpose in life is to come to him as sinful, broken
children and allow him to make our lives clean and pure. As we depend on him and observe the life of Jesus we see how
each and every one of us is supposed to live. Jesus was selfless and kind. He healed people of sicknesses and
from many didn't receive thanks. He cared for others, and reached out to the broken, people so sinful that they were
rejected from society - tax collectors, prostitutes...
Can you imagine if each of us chose to live like that? Instead of lamenting about how can a loving God allow
poverty in this world, we give up our expensive restaurant meals, shopping sprees, and vacations and send that money to poverty
stricken countries? Or instead of blowing $30 on a movie and snacks you spend the evening volunteering at a food bank? Before
you accuse God of being cruel just look at how much he has given you, and what are you doing with it?
The other thing is this: everyone probably knows at least one person who, whether their previous life was considered
very sinful, or simply just like everyone else's, who suddenly became a Christian. Whatever their past, they probably
say the same thing - "Something was missing."
Not everyone has or will feel that. Some may be completely satisfied not believing their whole life.
You can face them with archeological proof the Bible exists, fulfilled Bible prophecies, stacks of testimonies from people
who's lives were turned around by God and THEY WILL STILL NOT BELIEVE.
And some just don't want to become Christians. They may believe in God and angels, and Heaven is for 'good
people' and hell is for murderers and rapists, but when you talk about Jesus it instantly makes them uncomfortable.
With Jesus we either have to hop onto one side of the fence or the other - not sit on it. And since people don't like
to do that, they think they can straddle the fence, ignore the facts and close their eyes to the truth.
They don't like to give any thought to, "What if this is true?" When a warning light comes on your dash
board, you can stop the car and find the problem, or simply ignore it in hopes it was a simple electric problem causing the
light to go on by mistake. But if you don't check it out it can cause serious problems with your car, resulting in a
lot of money to repair it, and a lot of time and trouble.
Are you going to take that kind of chance with your eternity, or are you going to at least check it out for yourself?
No true Christian will turn their back on their faith after living as a Christian for a year or so, and say,
"It just didn't work out." Some make the decision as an intellectual one. Jesus describes sharing the gospel with
those people as seed that "fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture." (Luke 8:6)
For an example, several years ago I dated a guy who wasn't a Christian. Although it wasn't the main issue
why we broke up, him not sharing my faith was significant. We broke up a handful of times, and each time he would win
me back claiming he was a Christian. The final time, he talked as if he were ready for seminary, but this time I didn't
take him back. I ran into our pastor a few years ago who said that he had disciple my ex for about six months then they
"lost touch". While I was encouraged to find out he had actually stuck with it longer than a couple of weeks, and especially
with me gone and never coming back, I was discouraged (however, not surprised) to find out he went right back into his old
are others who just do not feel peace until they investigate it and eventually accept Christ as their personal savior.
Those are the ones who took the "seed" (word of God) they were given, and it "fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a
crop, a hundred times more than was sown." Luke 8:8
If you have got this far and something in your mind is saying there may be more to this whole Christian thing,
please check out the questions and answers found on the Why Christianity? page. There are also tons of resources on the internet, but make sure what you read isn't from
a cult or false religion which uses the bible but also teachings and writing of other men/teachers as the basis of their doctrine.
If you are not a bible believing Christian and have no desire to be, you probably will not like
the content and will find it fundamental and narrow-minded. In this case, you probably don't want to waste your time.