Nothing happens when I die,
I just cease to exist!
Whoa there! Let's think about this a
"Whether you believe it or not, God either exists, or he doesn't."
Just take that on board for a moment... What you believe,
does not define whether God exists or not. If he is there, he is there; if
he does not exist, then he doesn't; whatever you believe, this is a true
can illustrate it another way. I once got on a train that I believed was
going to Oxford. As it turned out, it was going to Bristol. I could
believe as much as I liked that I was going to Oxford, but it made no
difference. Whatever I believed, I was either going to Oxford, or I
wasn't. And it turned out that I was wrong...
people used to think the earth was flat. They were absolutely sincere
people; they truly believed it was flat. As it happens they were wrong,
but the point I want you to realise is this: the fact that you believe
something doesn't make it true.
Do you see? So many people believe that there is no after life, that you
just die, and that's that. However, the same principle applies;
whatever they believe, either
they're right or they're wrong.
But, what if there is NO after life?
OK: suppose there is no "after life".
In that case, there's nothing there; but Christians have nothing to lose
in the long run by believing it. They've just spent their lives
wasting their time trying to make the world a better place, to help
improve the lives of others, and to spend their own lives trying to be
better people, and
to do good.
But, what if there IS an afterlife?
Suppose there IS an after life,
That we do continue after death. If we do, then everybody faces the same fate:
we go either to heaven, or to
So who makes the final decision which way we go?
Jesus Christ does. You must have heard the phrase, "Judgment
Day". This originated in the Bible. That's the crunch time. If you haven't made a decision before then,
it's too late. Once your life has ended, in that split second, the choice
is taken away from you. I'm afraid there is no going back; you cannot say
afterwards, sorry, I did mean to believe in Jesus after all, honest; can I come in? The
Bible tells us that there is a chasm between heaven and hell that no-one
can cross in either direction. Luke 16:25
Are we judged on what we have done?
If we have faith in Jesus Christ, and believe in our hearts
that he has paid the price for our sins, then No! That might come as a surprise to you; but that's
the way it goes. He
If you know the Bible story about the crucifixion, consider the case of
the thief condemned to death by crucifixion. He was hanging on a cross
beside Jesus. If God were to judge him on what he had done, then we might expect him to go to
However, look at what happens. You can read this yourself in the New
Testament; see Luke chapter 23, verses 39-43. We write it like this:
One of the criminals hanging beside
him scoffed, "So you're the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving
yourself--and us, too, while you're at it!" But the other criminal
protested, "Don't you fear God even when you are dying? We deserve to die
for our evil deeds, but this man hasn't done anything wrong." Then he
said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom." And Jesus
replied, "I assure you, today you will be
with me in paradise."
The man put his life into the hands of Jesus. His change of heart
was sufficient to allow God to
forgive his sin,
and welcome him into the kingdom of heaven.
Are we judged on what we believe?
Yes. Let's give a few bible verses to back that up.
John 3:16-18: ""For God so loved
the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who
believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did
not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. There
is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not
trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son
Everyone who believes? Let's read a bit more about that...
Galatians 2:16 "...we have
believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be accepted by God because
of our faith in Christ--and not because we have obeyed the law. For
no one will ever be saved by obeying the law."
This means that we are not justified (put right with God) by
not breaking the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.
3:22-25: "For all have sinned; all fall short of
God's glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness
declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus,
who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take
the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us.
We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his
blood, sacrificing his life for us. God was being entirely fair and
just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times."
All have sinned - everybody who has ever lived -
except for Jesus.
But we are put right with God, justified - "just
as if I'd" never sinned. We are put right with God by faith in Jesus
Redemption - our lives are redeemed by the
death of Jesus. What does this actually mean? Imagine you take something
to a Pawn Brokers - not something you see much of these days, but it was a
shop where you would take something you own - say, a television set - and
pawn it for money. If you take the money back before a certain date, you
could redeem television and take it back home. If not, they would
sell it, and you would lose it.
In the same way, because
everyone sins in the sight of God, our eternal lives are forfeit, and
we would go to hell when we die. But Jesus died for us, died instead of
us, and by doing so he paid the penalty, he paid the price on our behalf.
Provided we have faith in Him, he redeems our eternal lives,
so in effect he buys our lives back, and we go to heaven instead.
Sacrifice of Atonement
In the old testament times, people had to atone for their
sins by sacrificing a perfect dove or a lamb to God. The price of
atonement was the death - or the blood - of a perfect living
creature. We read of Jesus being called the lamb of God - and he
was perfect in His Father's sight - he had never sinned. Therefore,
being perfect, His sacrifice was the total atonement of the sins of
mankind across the tens of thousands of years that we have been here -
provided we pick up the ticket that says "Forgiven" - by having faith in
Jesus Christ as our saviour and by accepting that He died for us; and that
means for you and for me.
If we accept the death of Jesus, he leaves our sins
unpunished; they are redeemed.
If you want to read more, have
a look at the following verses.
Jesus said, "For
I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not
to do what I want. And this is the will of God, that I
should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I
should raise them to eternal life at the last day. For it is my
Father's will that all who see his Son and believe in him should
have eternal life--that I should raise them at the last day."
1 Timothy 1:16
"But that is why God had
mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of
his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will
realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal
1 John 5:13
"I write this to you who believe
in the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life."
"For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our
"For if you confess with your
mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised
him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by
believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is
by confessing with your mouth that you are saved."
"The Father loves his Son, and
he has given him authority over everything. And all who believe in
God's Son have eternal life. Those who don't obey the Son will never
experience eternal life, but the wrath of God remains upon them."
Jesus said, "I assure you,
those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have
eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they
have already passed from death into life."
1 John 5:13
"I write this to you
who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal
"Jesus said, 'I
assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers
and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'
And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous
will go into eternal life."
Jesus said, "I,
the Son of Man, must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in
me will have eternal life."
often referred to himself as the "Son of Man". "Lifted up"
referred to being lifted up on the cross).
"When the Gentiles heard this,
they were very glad and thanked the Lord for his message; and all
who were appointed to eternal life became believers."
("Gentiles" means those who
were not Jews).
Need I say more?!
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Why? Think about it!
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Belief in Jesus Christ
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God's Gift: Thought
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Description of Crucifixion
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