The basic truth of the Bible and practical Christian life
A book about meaning of life - by Arvid Aasen
Chapter - 10
Eternity and life after death
The Bible tells us that God has put eternity in our hearts from creation. Those who believe in Jesus Christ and accept Him as their Lord and Savior will go home to God in heaven when their earthly body dies. In heaven, they will receive a new and different body and in heaven there are neither tears nor pain.
Revelation 21: 3-4 «And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.»
As we have seen before, the Bible gives us a picture of the perfect life with God in the beginning. Adam and Eve lived in perfect fellowship with God in the Garden of Eden. In the garden stood the Tree of Life which is the symbol of Jesus, salvation, and eternal life. Adam and Eve were separated from God because they chose to eat from the tree for the knowledge of good and evil, the only tree God had forbidden them to eat from. When we today choose to believe in Jesus, who is the Tree of Life, fellowship with God is restored. In heaven, everything will be perfect, and we will see God face to face and live close to Him as Adam and Eve did before turning their backs on God and sinning.
Revelation 21: 22-27 and 22: 1-5 «But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.»
In John 15: 1-8, Jesus explains the importance of being in Him who is the Tree of Life. «I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.»
The Bible gives us more glimpses of heaven in Revelation 4: 2-4. it is said that God sits on a throne, that there are 24 elders who are in God's council and sit around His throne. Jesus also told his disciples that He would go to His Father and sit at His right hand and that He would prepare a room for us in heaven. Revelation 21 describes heaven as a paradise with streets of gold, no sorrow or pain but peace and harmony.
Eternity is not just an endless extension of time. Eternity is defined differently than time. Eternity is the kingdom of God, the kingdom in which God himself lives.
One day Jesus will return to get those who belong to Him, to give them eternal peace and rest in heaven. The dead will rise to new life. Then comes a day of judgment and God will be the judge. His judgment is and will always be just and true. Those of us who belong to and following Jesus have nothing to fear, for Jesus has already taken the punishment for us. Jesus who is the Word of God.
Isaiah 53: 4-5 «Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.»
We have been saved for eternity by grace alone, but we still have to choose every day to follow Jesus' example, His teaching, and the Bible, the Word of God. If we do, we will not fall away, lose faith, and become guilty.
The Bible also talks about eternal damnation for those who do not want to believe in Jesus and receive the gift of salvation. The Bible explains that they will go to hell, a prison prepared for the devil and only he. But those he manages to steal from God will also end up there with him. This is a place of crying and a lot of pain.
Therefore, make sure that you have chosen to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior! Receive the gift of grace God has prepared for you both in this life and in eternity. There is a lot more I could say about this, but I strongly encourage you to read the Bible yourself, get to know it well and God through prayer. God loves you, and He is always waiting for you, until the day it is too late, He is waiting for you, but it is your choice! God is generous, life has been given to you, salvation and eternity are also a gift, but it must be received by you - Only YOU can choose to receive the gift of salvation for your life!