you ever had one of those seemingly perfect moments in life when
everything just came together? You thought to yourself, I always want it
to be this way. But of course it isn't.
maybe you have certain goals in your life and think that once you reach
them, you will certainly be completely fulfilled. Maybe you have even
reached some of those goals. Maybe you have reached many of them – or
perhaps all of them – but still there is something missing.
again, maybe you have thought, When I meet the right person, that is
going to solve everything. But now that you have met the person – and
maybe have gotten married – something is still missing. Why is that?
Because from the moment you were born, you have been on a quest. You
have been searching for something more.
were uniquely created in the image of God, and there is a sense inside
that life should have some kind of meaning and purpose beyond mere
existence. Maybe you have wondered if you are the only person who feels
that way. You aren't. Because deep down inside, we all are searching.
matter how successful or beautiful or wealthy, everyone is searching.
Madonna made this statement a while back: "I think a few years ago I
wasn't sure what I was on this earth for. I think I was mostly concerned
with getting things for myself. More clothes, more money, more
popularity and more boyfriends. I wasn't really thinking; I was just
doing. Then I woke up and said, 'What am I on this earth for?' "
or later we begin to ask the big questions: What is the meaning of
life? Why am I here on this earth? Why do I exist? What should my
purpose in life be? We all have in us a desire to achieve something, to
make something of our lives. We all want our lives to count for
something bigger and better than ourselves.
desire for significance is not a bad thing. Here is what the Bible says
on the subject: "God 'will give to each person according to what he has
done.' To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and
immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are
self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be
wrath and anger" (Romans 2:6–8 NIV).
is interesting that in these verses the apostle Paul is speaking
approvingly of those who seek glory, honor and immortality. God wired us
that way. There is deep within our souls a yearning to rise above the
commonplace, the ordinary. We want immortality.
people find that immortality, so to speak, through fame. Then there are
some who are famous just for being famous. Others find a type of
immortality through being infamous. Others try to find immortality
through prolonging their lives.
is not something we achieve, however. This may come as a surprise, but
it is something we already have. Every one of us will live forever. The
issue is where we will live forever. The Bible has a lot to say about
this topic. According to the Scripture, we will never die – in a
spiritual sense. Our bodies will die, but our souls – the real you, the
real me – will live on forever. And this is what we want to think about.
What happens beyond the grave?
you are a Christian, a person who has put his or her faith in Jesus
Christ as their Savior and Lord, the Bible promises that when you die,
you will go to heaven. The moment you take your last breath on earth,
you will take your first breath in heaven. That is God's promise. When
Christians lose a loved one who is also a Christian, they feel sorrow
like anyone else would. But they have the assurance they will see that
loved one again. The apostle Paul said, "For to me, to live is Christ
and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21 NIV).
what about the unbeliever? What about the one who says no to Jesus
Christ? What happens when they die? They, too, are immortal. They, too,
live forever. But where? We find the answer in Revelation 20:13–15: "The
sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the
dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he
had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The
lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written
in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
will have to face death. And it won't matter whether you are a
millionaire or a billionaire or a rock star or a well-known politician
or a president or a king or a queen or a movie star. Those things won't
matter on the other side. Death is the great equalizer, and we all will
stand before God. Anyone who has been exposed to the truth of God's laws
will be held responsible. And knowledge brings responsibility.
owes us no explanations. And the main issue will come down to this:
What did you do with Jesus Christ? Because the Bible says of Jesus,
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under
heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12 NIV). Only
Jesus was fully God and fully man. C. S. Lewis said, "The Son of God
became a man that men might become sons of God."
that is why His death was necessary. Every one of us has sinned, but
Jesus died in our place. He paid a debt he did not owe, because we owed a
debt we could not pay. God did not create hell for people; it was
created for the devil and his angels. In fact, God took radical measures
to keep us out of hell. But because he is just and holy, the sin issue
had to be settled. God wants you in heaven. But if you end up separated
from him for eternity, you will have no one to blame on that final day
but yourself – because you will not have been sent there by God as much
as you will have sent yourself there by ignoring his offer of salvation.