Is there life after death? Almost everyone will say that there is. Believing in life after death is both comforting and disturbing.
It is comforting because no one likes to think that after living so many years you just pass into oblivion, that you are dead and gone. No one likes to think that his friends and the members of his family end at death and we will never see them again. Without the hope of life after death, this life would be very depressing and meaningless.
The thought of life after death is disturbing because if there is life after death what will that life be like? You will have to face God. Will God take me to happiness? Or will God condemn me to suffering? That is a possibility because we feel guilty. We know we have done wrong. That is one reason why some people deny the existence of God and life after death – they fear the consequences if there is a God and life after death.
If it is a foregone conclusion that we are going to be condemned and will go from this life into an eternity of suffering, then there is no use talking about it. We might as well try not to think about it and enjoy life while we can. But if we expect happiness after this life, how can we be sure?
As we think about this, one of the first things to consider is that God tells us not to sin. Much of the Bible was written to tell us that. God’s law tells us what to do and not do. Each commandment tells us what is right is a specific area.
What is sin? The Bible tells us that sin is anything that goes against what God says. If we always did everything God said to do perfectly, we would have eternal life.
But what is our situation? We haven’t always perfectly done everything God said to do. There is no need to deny it. God even tells us that all have sinned.
Where does that leave us? All hope of getting into heaven but what we do or who we are is useless.
But the Bible also tells us something else about sins. Jesus paid for them all. He paid for the sins of Adam and Eve and everyone else.
What have you done wrong? What are you feeling guilty about? Why might you be afraid to face God on Judgement Day? Remember that Jesus is the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.
So, although we have sinned, and sinned repeatedly, we look forward to eternal life. That is not just a wish or a hope. We are sure of it because Jesus paid for our sins.
(Pastor Marc Frey is the pastor at Peace of Our Savior Lutheran Church and Preschool (WELS) New Carlisle, OH www.peaceofoursavior.net)