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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Don't know. I'll hope for the best.

A few weeks ago I mentioned this option as the last in the list of what happens after we die. Actually, it's not really an option, it's an attitude. If God will judge us after we die, then he will judge us, whether we do anything or not about it.

Surely it is important to decide what you think about what happens after death. If nothing happens, and death is all that awaits us, then doesn't this direct us to live in a certain way? If we are reincarnated, then shouldn't we again live in a certain way?

And again, if judgment awaits us, then we should live in a certain way because we know that what we have done will affect the life that we have after this one.

So why do people not think about what happens after death? I think that it is because the possible outcomes are unpleasant. This Spring I faced the possibility of not returning next year to the school where I teach. The wise thing to do would be to look for new jobs, update my contacts and resume and network. Naturally, I did a few of those things, but I kept putting the rest of them off in the hopes that things would work out and I wouldn't need to do anything. (Things turned out just fine.) Don't we do this a lot in our lives? And what is more unpleasant than death and judgment? (Here's another article on how we live our lives in denial of what's to come.)

But how irresponsible to not address the one fact that will affect us all! Death will come, and what awaits us? I urge my readers to examine the inevitability of your death and to decide what you think will happen. Examine the claims I made (brief though they are) in the previous posts.

Lastly, I will restate the claim that I believe is the most likely to be valid. That is, after death we will answer for what we have done in this life. To believe otherwise ultimately makes a mockery of morality and of the deep longing that every human has to be loved, cherished, and recognized. If I am correct, then you need to decide how you will answer on that day.

Here's my hope:
Romans 8:1
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Over the last few weeks I've been commenting on various answers to what happens after people die. And now, by sheer coincidence this weekend, we come to the Christian hope. A few weeks ago I wrote:
Resurrection. We receive new bodies, similar to, but better than our old ones. Life is lived in God's presence with others who are acceptable to him.
This is the hope of Christians in the New Testament and in the nearly two thousand years since. This is the theme of 1 Corinthians 15, that great chapter on the importance of Jesus' resurrection. Tomorrow we celebrate Easter - Resurrection Sunday, if you prefer.

So why is resurrection the hope of Christians? As I have said in the last few posts, humans long for significance, and not to be forgotten. And yet death destroys both. All of us will die, and people will forget about us, and we will become insignificance.

Resurrection restores us to what we believe we should have been. No second chance at life to do it better (reincarnation), but the destruction of death and sin themselves. New bodies, that lack the shortcomings and difficulties of this life. Forgiveness of sins. No more death and decay. And best of all will be the company of like minded others in the presence of God himself.

Isn't this the option that we would choose if we could? (of the various ones I outlined earlier?) Doesn't this option ring the truest? Of course, that doesn't make it true. (Check out this for some good evidence to think about.)

It all hangs on the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus did not come back from the dead, then there is no resurrection for us. But he did come back from the dead, and promises victory over death for those who follow him.

So, consider the claims of Jesus and consider this: What happens to YOU after you die? (Check out the Sermon on death and dying)

Next time: I'll hope for the best.