When I die?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dear Linwood Family and Friends,

We are one week closer to the 2015 season at Linwood – but it sure doesn’t feel like it!  It was -14 when I woke up a couple of days ago.  I usually don’t mind cold, but this is COLD!  Not only am I praying for Jesus to come quickly (to bring His Kingdom to fulfillment, uniting heaven and earth) but I am also praying for the summer to come quickly!

Last week I shared with you that a friend had contacted me because he was a part of a group making a U-Tube video created for seekers or non-believers.  It was dealing with three questions that seekers or skeptics often ask.  He wanted my responses to put in the mix.  I found it to be a stimulating exercise.  The first question was this:

What happens when I die?

Here is my answer:

The most reasonable and logical answer is “not much.”  Based simply upon what we know, our life begins when conception takes place and ends when we take our last breath.  These things we know: we are made out of an egg and sperm from a man and a woman, and when we die we return to the earth.  “Dust to dust; ashes to ashes.”  However, this “reasonable” answer has not proven to be satisfying to hardly anyone or any culture that has lived on earth.  There is something inside of us that says, “There has to be more than just this life! This cannot be the beginning and the end!”

Practically every culture, every society and every person has formed an idea about what happens when we die.  Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Reincarnation (we get another chance – or a bunch of them  – to do better);
  • Divide and Conquer (the body dies and the soul lives);
  • The Great Curve (entrance to heaven is a pass/fail proposition and hopefully our earthly behavior ranks just a little above “pass”);
  • The Hitchhikers (connect yourself to some deity or self proclaimed deity – and hope you have made a good choice!),
  • Everybody Come On In (how could a good God say no to anyone?),
  • It All Comes Out in the Wash (all religions and all gods are all about the same, so somehow it all works out whatever you believe), and so on.

Christians, like all religions, have their convictions about life after death.  We readily admit that there is much about “eternity” that we do not understand.  Yet we believe that because of Christ’s death and resurrection, those who trust in Him, will also be raised from death to life and spend eternity in the presence of God – sharing in His joy, peace, purposes, and healing.

Yes, this, like every other belief about life after death, calls for a leap of faith.  Yet, it is one that is supported by what we understand about God, about us, about our shortcomings and failures, and about life – all of which make a lot of sense.  It is based upon events reported in history (the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus).  And it is affirmed by millions of people from many different cultures and societies who live remarkable lives based upon their trust in Christ.  Before you decide what to trust for your eternity, you really need to check it out.

How would you answer this question?  Where (and to whom) do you take your leap of faith when it comes to questions of eternity?

Hu Auburn
Linwood Park Pastor

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