One of the saddest duties I perform is that of conducting a funeral at which either the deceased or the mourners have no sure hope of an afterlife. Some simply refer to Heaven as if it is an automatic place of entry for those we love. For others, there is a so-called ‘better place’ sometimes described in terms of the life being commemorated (e.g. for a golfer, ‘that great golf course in the sky’ or ‘playing golf with God’). Basically, these are euphemisms to soften the confronting reality that we need to contextualise life in the grander scheme of eternity. For most people, though, there is no certainty of life after death, just a vague admission of a possibility that there might be ‘something out there’, and a somewhat greater confidence that, if there is, we are supposedly ‘good enough’ to gain admission. But what a gamble to take with our precious few years on Earth!
I find that most people make no systematic investigation of the most important quest there is, because they just don’t want to confront it. But ignorance is not bliss! Logically, we owe it to ourselves to find out about God, because everything is at stake. If He is real, then His claims about us being deserving of death and about His desire to give us a way of escape need us to consider the huge consequences for ignoring Him for the sake of our extremely short life here. If He is not real, then His claims still deserve investigation to shore up our position due to the seriousness of the alternative.
We are surely without excuse in the face of a complex Creation which cannot be disputed with any confidence by Evolution. Scientists just cannot explain how life arose or how the universe came to exist; they have theories and jargon but with no supporting evidence. The evidence for God, though, is added to by changed lives, undisputed miracles, and archaeological and historical proof of the Bible’s claims. And if He gives us good news, not bad, why would we reject it? Quite simply, we can know where we are going when we die, and can then live a better life in the light of this destiny. All of us are caught in sin without giving our lives to God and all of us deserve an eternal punishment for that sin, but God loved us because He created us, so He sent Jesus to die in our place because He was perfect and therefore didn’t need to die for any sin of His own. We received the possibility of right-standing with God that Jesus had, because He swapped it for our sin and then broke its power, anyway, when He rose from the dead three days later.
Will this possibility be yours? There is no greater question to answer in this life.