Woody Allen famously said “I do not believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear.”
In a 2011 survey conducted in London 51% of people said they believed there is an afterlife while 23 percent believe they will just “cease to exist. The rest didn’t know.
- What do you think will happen to you after you die?
- Do you think the way you live will affect what happens to you after you die?
- Do you think you could ever be certain about what will happen to you after you die?
Christians believe that they can have assurance that they will go to heaven when they die. Does that sound arrogant to you?
We often talk quite a lot about future things, my next class, my next degree, my next job, the size of my superannuation, even the quality of our retirement! I wonder if you’ve spent much time thinking about about y our eternal superannuation, and your eternal retirement…
If there is no next life then it makes sense to simply live for ourselves. You might as well ‘eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die’, following the adage that ‘he who dies with the most – wins’. But when you think about it living for yourself is pretty unsatisfactory selfish existence.
More than that Jesus demonstrates to us that there is life after death by rising from the dead himself. It is a fact in history that Jesus died on the cross two thousand years ago and then rose to life again. Jesus has conquered death and now gives new life.
Jesus is crystal clear in saying to us that we are conscious after our death. There are two alternative states of existence. Jesus says people either are in ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’. The picture that Jesus paints of heaven is of people enjoying permanent relationship with God. The picture of hell is one of relational agony, as those there are permanently aware of the relationship that they are missing out on.
It is through the resurrection of Jesus that we are given new birth (entry) into a living hope of an ‘eternal superannuation’ which can never perish, spoil or fade. This ‘eternal superannuation’ is the wonderful permanent relationship with Jesus.
Jesus challenges us now not to live foolishly for ourselves, not giving a thought to the future. But to live for God, recognising that there will come a time of death and accountability before God.
The question for us is will we accept the death of Jesus that pays for our rebellion against God, and trust that the resurrection of Jesus guarantees us a life after death with Jesus?