Are You Preparing for the After-Life?

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Marti Pieper

What happens after we die? If you ask people this question today, you will hear a variety of answers, from the traditional heaven and hell to zombies and reincarnation. For the believer in the Bible, the answer to this question is not only very important, but it is clear and without controversy. Knowing the answer to this single question can and should fundamentally change the way you plan and walk your life.

Unfortunately for many believers, our journey through life is viewed as if we were playing a game such as Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders or Parcheesi. For those unfamiliar with these games, each of them has a starting point, and the way to win is to move your game piece from that starting point to the finishing point. In the same way, many of the believers I speak to and know look at their walk as believers in this same format.

They were born, and through a series of dice rolls, they traverse the path of their life from birth until death. To them, winning the game of their lives is getting from the start square to the home square as quickly as possible with as few “move back three places” as possible. In other words, people spend their whole life trying to get to heaven as quickly as possible with as few problems physically and spiritually as possible. We have been programmed or taught to believe that our primary goal as a believer is to “get to heaven.”

The problem is that when we read the Bible, that doesn’t appear to be the primary goal of those about whom we read. For instance, Abraham sojourned in Canaan so that his grandson could dwell there. By faith, Abraham left the land of his fathers and traveled to the place where G-D would show him. But, when Abraham arrived, he didn’t say, “OK, I made it from the start square to the finish square. I am done.” No. In fact, Abraham lived his entire life as a sojourner so that his after-life would provide a place for Jacob to dwell instead of sojourning.

Moses, as a leader of Israel, lived his whole life so that in his after-life, Joshua would be able to lead the people of Israel into the promised land. If we take time to look, we will see that none of the heroes of our faith that we read about in the Bible lived their lives with a focus on making it to heaven. They all lived their lives with a purpose and goal of leaving a testimony of faithfulness, or an after-life that left a spiritual and physical inheritance to those who would still be alive.

As with all things biblical, our primary example will always be Yeshua (Jesus), who perfectly demonstrated through His life, death and Resurrection how to prepare for His after-life. Not only did He live His entire life so that when He died He provided life abundantly for those who would live in His after-life, but He also went to the world to come to prepare a place for us there.

“Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to Myself, so that where I am you may also be” (John 14:1-3, TLV).

I believe with all of my heart that as believers, our primary goal should not be just to make it to heaven; rather, we should focus our kingdom efforts on preparing for our after-life. Every one of us will someday leave this world. But leaving this world should not be our goal, nor should leaving this world be the focus of our prayers or actions. Our eyes should not be fixed on the home space, as if simply getting from start to home makes us winners.

In fact, living in that way doesn’t make us winners; it makes us selfish and self-serving, both of which are contrary to the fruit of the Spirit. If we want to finish our race strong, we must set our eyes not on where we will spend our afterlife. Instead, we must focus upon our after-life, as in what we will leave behind when we are no longer here.

It is way past time that we as believers realized that if we properly prepare to leave an after-life inheritance here on earth, we will also be found faithful, enter into the joy of the Lord and receive our eternal inheritance. {eoa}

Eric Tokajer is the author of “Overcoming Fearlessness, What If Everything You Were Taught About the Ten Commandments Was Wrong?,” “With Me in Paradise,” “Transient Singularity,” “OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry,” “#ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer,” “Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians” and “Galatians in Context.”

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