Mankind has always been concerned with—and developed numerous theories about—the afterlife. Something within us rebels against the idea that existence ends with the grave. Funerals and memorial services always address the afterlife, complete with euphemisms to describe what happens after life on earth is over. The dead are said to have ‘gone on’ or ‘passed over’ or some such phrase. What they have gone on to is often alluded to, and always in positive terms, but frequently not explained in authoritative terms. We all like to think we are headed for something pleasant and positive after we die, but many of us just aren’t sure what it is.
The afterlife is the ultimate mystery, that “undiscovered country from who bourn no traveller returns,” as Shakespeare put it. But one traveller has returned from the undiscovered country, one who has gone through to the other side and come back to tell us what to expect. He alone possesses the authority and knowledge to tell everyone the truth about the afterlife. Not only that, but He alone holds the key to unlock the door to the afterlife we all seek—heaven. That person is Jesus Christ who died, was buried, came back to life, and was seen by hundreds of reliable witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).
Jesus is the sole authority and witness who is able to answer the question, “Is there really an afterlife?” And Christ, whose truthfulness and integrity are unquestioned even by those who deny His deity, makes three basic statements about the subject of life after death. There is an afterlife, there are only two alternatives as to where we spend the afterlife, and there is a way to ensure a positive experience after death.
First, Christ taught that there is an afterlife in a number of biblical passages, including an encounter with the Sadducees who denied the teaching of resurrection. He reminded them that their own Scriptures affirm that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Mark 12:24-27). Jesus clearly told them that those who have died centuries before are very much alive with God at that moment, although they do not marry, becoming instead as the angels. Later, Jesus comforts His disciples (and us) with the hope of being with Him in Heaven: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going” (John 14:1-4). (Click to Article)