I often wonder what people think will happen to them once they have died.
Now, of course, there are a variety of possible scenarios. The simplest is that there is no God, no afterlife, and consequently no judgement day. In which case death isn’t an issue—death is simply the end. Similarly, if there is a God, but there is neither an afterlife or judgement day, then that isn’t an issue either. But what if there is a God, and there is an afterlife, and there is a judgement day? What then?
Well, for those who believe in God, and who have made the necessary preparations, it isn’t really a problem. But what about those who don’t believe? How will they cope with being faced with the very thing they have denied?
After all, not believing in something, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist or won’t happen. And changing who God is, into something with which we are more comfortable, will not help at this point either. Because at the point of death, if there is a God, we will be faced with God as he really is, not on who we have made him out to be.
So, what do people think will happen to them when they die? Well, I know where I’m going. I am going to be with my Lord. But where other people think they are going, remains a mystery to me. Because I don’t think many people have considered this matter very seriously at all.
Now of course, the life after death issue, isn’t just an issue of what will happen later. It also has consequences for today. After all, a person who believes in God has purpose, they have meaning in life. They have a pathway which leads them into the next world. But for those who don’t believe … well, some don’t have any purpose at all. And others …? Well it’s not that some don’t have any purpose. Because many people do. It’s just not the same purpose, or as comprehensive a purpose, as those who have faith.
So, if there is a God, and there is a judgement day and if there is life after death, then there is a real point to believing in God, and living by his rules, now. But if none of those things are true, then any purpose may be helpful in this world, but that is as far as it can go.
In a sense, the life after death issue is a bit of a gamble. “Do I believe, or do I not believe?”
If Christians are wrong in believing that there is a God, an afterlife, and a judgement day, then the worst-case scenario is that they are wrong about the afterlife, but they may still have been helped, in some way, by their beliefs in the here and now. However, if Christian’s are right, then anyone who does not believe in the Christian God will be totally unprepared for next. And the consequences for them will be catastrophic.
Now neither Christian nor non-Christian can provide definitive proof of the existence or non-existence of God, the afterlife or judgment day. That is why we are called to have faith. However, the Christian would claim that the evidence for God is all around. Yet, despite this, only a minority of people in this country (Australia) and around the world, meet the criteria of believing in God (as he has revealed himself), and being a Christian (as defined in the Bible).
So, what do people think will happen to them when they die? Well that’s up to each individual to know whether they believe or are prepared in anyway. However, my concern is that the issue of life after death is largely ignored, and put off for the future, for the more immediate issue of simply living for today.
Posted: 4th November 2017
© 2017, Brian A Curtis