Life After Death?
This past weekend, I may have been attending a wedding, but our church continued the series, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.” This past week’s lesson was: “Are Heaven and Hell Real?” I made a point to listen to the message when returned from the weekend. If you’d like to listen to the original message, Click HERE

No one really likes to talk about death. However, whether we like it or not…we all have a death date. In fact, within the past two weeks, two individuals I distantly know died before their 30th birthday. If you go to www.deathclock.com, you can “predict” your death date based on a few questions. According to the clock, I will die on October 1, 2082 – I would be 100 years old. Of course, this clock isn’t too reliable – each time you click, it provides a new date. But the point is that we all will die at some point.

Psalm 139:16 says, all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” God knows when we’ll pass away before the day that we are born. But what happens to use the moment after we take our last breath? How do we even know that there will be life after death? Who’s to say that we don’t just disappear? 

Well, if we just look around, we can see that there’s a circle of life…even when Faith leaves us hanging for more information, science fills in the gaps. But, the Bible does give us more direction. Hebrews 9:27-28 says, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” These verses tell us that after our final breath, we will face judgement. 

I think we’d like to believe that God is just like a grandfather…that upon our deaths, he’ll kick open the gates and let us all in…just for being a good person. That’s not necessarily the case. In fact, it doesn’t matter how good we are on Planet Earth. It doesn’t matter what denomination we are, how much money we gave or who we’re related to. At the end of the day, it all boils down to “are you holy?” Better yet, did we accept God’s son, Jesus Christ? It’s really that simple. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” 
By GRACE You Have Been Saved
If we back up to Ephesians 1:13-14, it says, And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” This tells us that when we accepted Christ, we are marked by God…almost like earnest money towards a home that will be accepted when we enter our eternal reward: heaven. That’s all God is looking for. 

So, we die and we go before judgement. At that time, we are separated into two groups. Matthew 25:32 says, he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” 
  • Eternal Bliss – Heaven
  • Eternal Punishment – Hell
Let’s talk about Heaven. Heaven is not a state of mind…it is a real place. And, according to Colton, the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor, Heaven is for Real! Remember John 14:1-4, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Yes – it is a real and physical place…a place of perfection, perfect relationships, perfect bodies, and perfect fellowship between one another and God. I believe that Revelations even talks about white robes and an endless supply of water. It really is a perfect place.  

And a lot of us will go to Heaven…but some of us won’t. If you believe in God…and believe in Heaven, you must also believe that there is a Hell. Matthew 8:12 says, “But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” At one time in my life, I recall joking about my treating people poorly and making some off-handed comment that I was going to hell. The joke would continue by someone saying something to the effect of, “well you’ll be in good company.” But, according to the scripture, Hell is a place of darkness and solitary confinement. We might think it’ll be one big party of non-believers, but that’s just not the case. 

And I guess we can’t help but wonder why God would send loving people to hell. God doesn’t SEND anyone to Hell…we’re each given the choice. Matthew 7:22 says, Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?'” God is looking for our mark…that seal that says we are his.   

Matthew 7:16 says, By their fruit you will recognize them.” If it’s as easy as accepting Christ and then being recognized by our fruit…then what is the fruit of your life? Are you obedient to God’s teaching? Is your life a reflection of Jesus? When you accepted Jesus, did it transform your life (or did you go back to your old ways)? It’s a lot to think about but our death clock is still ticking. We may not know when exactly we’re going to go, but we can certainly determine where we’re going next. Where are you going? 
28 COMMENTS

    Firstly I love this photo you used! You already know I am an Atheist, but I will say this. Sometimes I wish there was a hell for horrible people such as child molesters and murders.

    What upsets me is that a lot of religious people think non-believers will go to hell. If there is a god I do not think he would care if we believe in him or not, but would care more about our actions and what good we did in life.

    Thank you for the comment on my page about the whole abortion issue. Honestly the fact that you are pro-choice really surprised me! I guess you learn something new about someone everyday ; )

    This is a wonderful post Ashley and maybe an eye opener for some. I love the fact that we have such a large book of scripture to rely on, as scripture never lies. Your image usage is beautiful as well.

    oh gord i did that death clock thing and the second count down is really scary!! i’m living ’til i’m 79 apparently. not that bad i guess. :\

    another great post.

    i’m a little surprised by the first comment that you are pro-choice with everything you have been writing about and believe.

    life is in God’s hands – my heart breaks for the voiceless and unborn who are murdered every single day because they are not convenient or wanted. there are millions of people praying for a baby every single day and would love to bring that child into their family.

    praying for all those reading your posts and asking God for the grace needed in their lives to accept Him as He is – ALL LOVE – ALL OF THE TIME!

    Hell proves His love. The fact that there is ONLY one way is a HUGE blessing – because who would know which one it was without God giving clear instructions on how to follow Him to the path of eternal life. The fact that He allows sinners like each of us to be saved – is the greatest gift ever!

    Hugs and Keep Pressing into the TRUTH! It will set all of us FREE!
    Jill

    Ashley, I always enjoy your posts, but the ones where you share your faith are my favorites…your writings are wonderful,,,the photo, the icing on the cake.

    Tell it sister! Awesome. I love how you’re using your blog to be a witness to others.

    That shot evokes such emotion. The raised hands, praising God. Beautiful.

    i believe it’s real =) wonderful post and yes i love your photo and the texture =)

    Love stopping by to read these posts. wonderful picture!

    Thank you for your amazing words. It motivates me to start writing mini blogging bible studies. :). Maybe I should start.:). You rock and are beautiful throughout.

    I love these posts you write. They are truly a blessing.

    Hi Ashley :) a very thoughtful post. thanks for posting it :) it’s so hard to realise that actually, like Jesus said to the rich young man – ‘no one is good except God alone’ :) also, God is so amazing, isn’t he? to die for us while we were still sinners and rebels! he loves us so much he took hell for us!! thanks for the post. much love and blessings, denise xxx

    I was quite surprised when I found out that you are pro-choice, but now I understand your reasoning, Ashley. However, I still hold firmly to my position as pro-life because God created human life and children are a gift from him. My heart is heavy for young girls who let their lives become a mess and find themselves pregnant (or any woman who finds out that the child inside her has a serious “problem” and will suffer his or her whole life) because that is a huge challenge. But God doesn’t call us to an easy life. He only promises to be with us and to suffer alongside us. He tells us that trials are to show that our faith is genuine. When our faith remains strong, after it has been tested, it will bring us praise, honor, and glory on the day when Jesus is revealed to the whole world according to 1 Peter 1:7. Honestly, I understand why women choose to have abortions, but I cannot justify those actions before a righteous God who loves each and every person despite our sins and who loved us enough to send his Son to the world to die for our sins and rise again. I just can’t do it.
    Those are my thoughts and I know that they’re flawed. My prayer is simply that God would use them to bring him glory.

    -Jessica :)

    I like what you have to say in this post. It’s very thoughtful and using Scripture to back up what you say is a good thing to do. :)

    You didn’t mention the new earth, but maybe you were going to mention that in another post, or you didn’t feel that it was necessary to talk about here? I was just wondering…

    Really, I do love your blog and reading what you have to say! It’s very encouraging to me. =)

    Great post, I love it!
    Kisses and have a nice day:)

    Ashley! this is such an interesting and important subject! infact our lives all depends on it!
    we need to strive to be holy! To be more like Jesus. We need to know that, Yes, God is Love, but He is a God of Justice too!
    These times, many many christians try to avoid this subject. yes they know it in the back of their head. But they try not to focus on that. They preach that God is love love love, and he will heal and forgive! This is TRUE!! But!, do not forget that we have an enemy! do not forget that hell exists. If one does. faith will just be a comfort blanket.
    But let us remember. that when we fail, we can run to the cross and by the grace of God, be forgiven! With that said , Ashley!, thanks for standing up for what you believe. That others might hear!
    (sorry for the loong comment, but this really is a big deal and moved me deeply)

    I really enjoy these posts! :) I love how you take and think things through more after church! I always mean to, and I do think about them, but I mean to write them down, and really sit down and reflect. That is awesome! :)

    This is such a wonderful post Ashley, so well written and gives people lots to think about. I looked over some of the other comments and I have to say I’m surprised by your position on abortion too.

    tricia ♥

    I didn’t necessarily mean for there to be a discussion of pro-life vs. pro-choice here, but since it’s been brought up…I think it’s worth clarifying.

    I personally believe in life. To say that I am pro-choice does not mean that I support abortion. I am thrilled for the opportunity to welcome new life into the world. But I am also so thankful that God gives us free will and choices along our journey. Each time – I choose him and I choose life, but that is my choice. I don’t feel that it’s my right to choose for another woman. Granted, if I had the opportunity to sit down with another woman regarding this issue, I would definitely ask her to consider life above the option of an abortion…but ultimately, it’s her choice.

    There are just so many situations that call for more consideration than a hard and fast stance on the issue…it’s just not black and white in my book. But, to clarify, I’m not for abortion…I just believe in the choice. That’s all.

    I love it that you do this series…Hear it Use it. Thank you.

    wonderful post Ashley, that death clock thing was scary….. No one know our day except the Lord. I am thankful for that. I want to use all of my days for His glory.

    Thank you for clarifying. :) I’m sorry for keeping the discussion going on here. I would have to say that I agree with you because it is indeed not a black-and-white issue.

    Such a hard and controversial topic especially for those that have doubts, but definitely not a topic that should be avoided.

    My elevator is going up, my friend :)

    I think the only thing that really and truly comforts me when I think about death is that He will be waiting there for me.
    When I was going through my RCIA classes, something our deacon said really stuck with me. He said that God will ask you, “When I was thirsty, did you offer me a drink? When I was hungry, did you give me food? When I was cold, did you give me warmth?” Because how we treat everyone is an act to God, and whatever you do to the least of His children is to do the same to Him.

    Lately my son’s been asking me when he will die, so the topic of heaven is rather timely for me.

    I’ve read Heaven is for Real – which I highly recommend to everyone! – and if that little boy’s story and the things he knows after visiting heaven don’t convince you, then I don’t think anything will!

    You’ve got a lot going on here, both in the post and in the comments! Bravo for taking on a difficult topic (heaven and hell. I am just finishing Rob Bell’s newest book, in which he spends a fair amount of time on that topic. I found it interesting — still processing it all.

    Thanks for linking up — you always provide a lot of food for thought!

    I wanted to share something that really changed my view on abortion. I have always been pro-life, but this is story amazed me at how clear it was. Please take the time to read it!

    “A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said:

    ‘Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 year old and I’m pregnant again. I don’t want kids so close together.

    So the doctor said: ‘Ok and what do you want me to do?’

    She said: ‘I want you to end my pregnancy, and I’m counting on your help with this.’

    The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: ‘I think I have a better solution for your problem. It’s less dangerous for you too.’

    She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.

    Then he continued: ‘You see, in order for you not to have to take care 2 babies at the same time, let’s kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we’re going to kill one of them, it doesn’t matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.

    The lady was horrified and said: ‘No doctor! How terrible! It’s a crime to kill a child!

    ‘I agree’, the doctor replied. ‘But you seemed to be OK with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.’

    The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point.

    He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that’s already been born and one that’s still in the womb.

    The crime is the same!

    If you agree, please SHARE. Together we can help save precious lives!

    “Love says I sacrifice myself for the good of the other person. Abortion says I sacrifice the other person for the good of myself…”

    Jesus sacrificed Himself for the good of sinners! That’s perfect love!” -Unknown

    Sorry my comment was so long, didn’t realize it was that much!

    I hope you don’t mind if I Pinterest this? You have a great knack for ‘quotography’! I bet you could sell these (well, not necessarily the scripture ones)!

    I have to say, I absolutely LOVE the spiritual insights you share without judgement or fear.

    I also think eventually you could put this whole series into a self-published book. Even if just for personal distribution, what a beautiful inspirational gift that would be!


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