Destiny: Is there hope beyond this present life?
This is the fourth big question each worldview seeks to answer. As a reminder, here are the first three questions we looked at earlier:
- Origin: Where do we come from?
- Meaning: Why are we here?
- Morality: What’s right and what’s wrong?
To a large segment of the population, this present life is all there is, and there is no hope beyond the grave. Death is sad and fearful because they do not know what lies beyond. Or worse yet, they do know and are not ready to face it! Here is what some people in the past have said concerning death.
“Once a man dies, there is no resurrection.”
“There is hope only for those who are alive, but those who have died are without hope.”
Contrast this with what Jesus Christ said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” . That abundant life is not just for this life, it extends beyond the grave. There is the hope of life everlasting based upon the promises of God in Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25, 26). In a changing world there exists an unchanging God whose word lasts forever. “The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8), and He Himself never changes, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Ralph Barton, one of the top cartoonists of our nation, left this note pinned to his pillow before taking his own life: “I have had few difficulties, many friends, great successes; I have gone from wife to wife, and from house to house, visited great countries of the world, but I am fed up with inventing devices to fill up twenty-four hours of the day.”
Shakespeare said this about life, “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (Macbeth)
The Apostle Paul had a very different view. He wrote the following just before his impending death: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
Christianity offers the world genuine hope for this life and the promise of eternal life to come. Followers of Jesus know what comes after death because Jesus Christ has already died and come back to tell us.
(Source: Josh McDowell)
Love you, Grandpa Larry
Note from Larry Ballard on these letters: