TOPIC:“Life Beyond the Sunset”
“In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have
told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2)
Belief in a future life beyond the grave has descended down through the ages of time. Within the heart of every man God has placed a confident hope and compassionate longing for life after death. Whether it be the American Indian who believes in his happy hunting ground, the Egyptian who preserved the body in pyramids for a future life, or the Oriental who believes in reincarnation, the desire for immortality is held by every tribe and nation of the world.
To the question raised by Job years ago: “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14), the Bible gives a clear and unmistakable answer. The words of Christ give evidence that death does not end all. He proclaimed: “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25, 26). Here, then, in the convincing language of Christ, we have the assurance of a continuous and conscious life beyond death.
When we are young and robust, Heaven is a vague and unthought of place. But as we grow older and our loved ones gather there, Heaven becomes more real and meaningful to each one of us. It was natural therefore when some of my loved ones died for me to search for answers to these perplexing questions: Is there really a Heaven? Where is it? Is it a real place? Can it be scientifically located? Will we recognize our loved ones there? What will our bodies be like? How old shall we be? Will we be crippled or wrinkled in the future life? What do we do in Heaven? Do our loved ones still see and hear us? Will we have any regrets in Heaven?
Now it should become our chief ambition to get better acquainted with what the Bible teaches about Heaven, so that when it is our time to leave this sin-battered world, we shall know something, but surely not everything, of what it is like. Let the Holy Spirit be our Guide as we trace out together what the Bible has to say about this wonderful place. Let me try to give some solid answers to these searching questions I have raised.