Heaven isn’t to look for­ward to only as death ap­proaches

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

I don’t be­lieve in life af­ter death. This life is all there is, and once you die, that’s the end. Heaven is just a myth that peo­ple dreamed up so they’d have some­thing to look for­ward to.

Your email deeply sad­dened me, be­cause you have ab­so­lutely noth­ing to look for­ward to as you grow older and death ap­proaches. A life with­out hope is a life with­out joy — no mat­ter how much we try to dis­guise it. Trag­i­cally, you are like those of whom the Bi­ble speaks, “with­out hope and with­out God in the world” (Eph­e­sians 2:12).

But life doesn’t have to be this way! The rea­son is be­cause God loves us, and he wants to give us hope — hope right now, and hope for all eter­nity. Heaven is not a myth, nor is eter­nal life some­thing peo­ple dreamed up so their lives wouldn’t be so hope­less. Nor is death the end, be­cause within each of us is a soul or spirit that death can­not kill.

How do I know this is true? I know it be­cause of Jesus Christ. If Jesus were only another man ... if Jesus’ tomb still held his body — then you might be right; we’d have lit­tle rea­son to hope. But Jesus wasn’t just another re­li­gious teacher or philoso­pher. He was God in hu­man flesh — and on the third day af­ter his death on the cross, he rose from the dead and de­feated death for­ever. Be­cause of Him, we can have hope!

Don’t let doubt, or sin, or any­thing else keep you from Christ. In­stead, look with an open heart and mind at Jesus as he is found in the Gospels. When you do, you’ll dis­cover the great­est truth any­one can ever know: God loves you, and Christ came to give you the gift of eter­nal life.

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