What After I Die?

Ecclesiastes 7:2, “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting (it’s better to go to a funeral than a feast): for that is the end of all men (all of us are going to die) ; and the living will lay it to his heart (it’s good to think about when you die.)
 
“The day of death is better than the day of birth, funerals are better than feasts, and sorrow is better than laughter.” Why would Solomon say that? Because, at funerals, we are forced to think about life after death. It forces us to prepare for death. We are not really ready to live until we are ready to die.
 
There is life after death. Life here on earth is preparation for eternity. We all desire to live forever and all of us know there is something more out there beyond this life. Jesus is more qualified to tell us about death than anyone, because he lived and died and came back from the dead. Jesus says “It’s either separation or celebration – Hell or heaven for all eternity.”
 
Hell is a real place. Jesus believed in Hell. 12 of the 20 times Hell is mentioned in the New Testament, it was Jesus talking about it. You can’t say “I believe in Jesus, but I don’t believe in hell.” Jesus believed in hell and taught that it was real. Hell is just as real as Heaven. People like for you to say that heaven is real, but they don’t like it when you say that Hell is real.
 
Hell is a place of physical suffering. There is an eternal fire there, and the fire does not burn a person up in Hell. When Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus, he describes the rich man as being in hell, suffering in torment yet not burnt up there.
 
Hell is a place of emotional suffering. Jesus said there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth there.” Hell will be a sad place full of weeping. It will not be a place for people to party, drink beer, and tell dirty jokes. No one will have fun in Hell. It will be dark there. You won’t see anyone. It will be lonely. You will suffer by yourself with no one there to comfort you. When Jesus said there will be “gnashing of teeth” in Hell, he is using an expression to describe regret over a bad decision. People will regret not accepting Christ when they are in hell. They will remember all the times they had a chance to be saved and to repent. They will remember all the people who tried to share the Gospel with them and they refused to act.
 
Hell is also a place of spiritual suffering. It is a place of separation from God and his children for all eternity. You are on the outside, separated from Heaven and the joy of it.
 
You say, “That’s horrible. Why would God send people to Hell? I thought he was loving.” God is loving, and God doesn’t send people to Hell. They choose Hell. God didn’t create Hell for people. He created Heaven for people. Matthew 25:41 says, Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Hell was prepared for the Devil and His demons, not for people! God doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
 
God doesn’t send people to Hell, but He did send His Son to come to this earth to die for us so that we would not have to go to Hell. If someone goes to Hell, it is because they choose to go. Where we spend eternity all depends on our decision here on earth – what to do with Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
 
If we say, “Jesus, I want to know you. I want to be close to you. I want to follow you. I want you to be my Lord and Master.” And we trust in Jesus, what He did on the Cross to save us. Then, in eternity, God graciously fulfills that request by giving us eternal life in heaven.
 
If we say, “Jesus, I don’t want you in my life. I want to do my own thing. I want to call my own shots. Jesus, you stay out of my life.” Then, God will give you what you want in eternity. You will be separated from God forever in a place called Hell. It will be your choice.
 
Heaven is also a real place. Revelation 21:1-4 says, And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
 
Years ago, there was more preaching on Heaven and more songs about heaven. Why do we not talk about it like other generations did? We have got too comfortable here on this earth. We have nice houses, cars, technology, and we don’t long for heaven like our grandparents and great grandparents did. We have set our affections on things of earth not on heaven.
 
Heaven is not just a state of mind. It is a real place. Jesus said in John 14, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go, I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am there you may be also.” Heaven is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Think of the best day you’ve ever had on earth. Multiply your best day ever by 1 million and then you just scratched the surface of how awesome Heaven is going to be.
 
Heaven is a perfect place. There is no suffering there, no sorrow, no death, no pain. Heaven is a pure place. There is no sin there. Heaven is a protected place. Jesus will rule and reign and no evil can enter. Heaven will be a peaceful place. There will be no worrying there. There will be no conflict there. Heaven is a beautiful place. We will walk on golden streets, and all the beautiful jewels will be everywhere in Heaven. Heaven is a practical place. We will do productive things in Heaven. We will have jobs, but we will enjoy them. Revelation 7:15 says “We will serve the Lord day and night.” We will have bodies in Heaven, but our bodies will be perfect. Work is not a curse. God made us to work and be productive. Adam and Eve worked before they sinned. Their sin just complicated their work. In Heaven, we will enjoy work. It will be delightful.
 
Heaven is a place of worship. We will worship the Lord there. We will sing to the Lord. Revelation 5:9, “And they sung a new song saying “Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof for thou was slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.”
 
So the choice is yours – either separation in Hell or celebration in Heaven for all eternity. If you trust Christ to save you, you can face death with confidence, not fear and dread.

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