Have you ever booked a holiday without any idea of where you are going, or without doing some research on the internet, speaking to a travel agent or reading a Lonely Planet guide? It just wouldn’t make sense, because you need to know which airport to go to, what kind of clothes to pack, how much money to take, and what to expect when you arrive. You need something to look forward to!
Many people go through life without any idea of where they are going when they leave this world, and have not given the matter any serious consideration. Many people hold that this is all there is. This is the only life we have and after death we cease to be – there is no final destination!
To live my life as though there was nothing else beyond the grave would drive me mad and lead me into depression. It would be like having to work every day of the year without any breaks, holidays, payslip or pension to look forward to. We are designed to look forward to the future and have hope that there is something better on the horizon.
We have a in-built sense of purpose and destiny, and everyone has a deep longing for something more – it’s what keep us going and the reason we get out of bed every day. It is very easy to fulfill this desire with short-term dreams and goals such as holidays, a better car, a bigger house, finding a spouse, having kids – and there is nothing wrong with these things! – but they are limited by our time here on this earth and are only temporary.
The bible says that God has prepared a place for us when we die and leave this world. We have an open invitation to spend eternity in a new world. John’s gospel (chapter 14) describes it as “the Father’s house”…
1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 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? 3 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.”
And 1 Peter 1 says that we have an inheritance that cannot be destroyed…
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you
The message of the Bible and reason Jesus lived, died and was raised to life, is to give us something to look forward to. We have a free boarding pass to allow us access to the holiday of a lifetime – an eternal lifetime! All that is required on our part is to accept it and acknowledge that this nothing we can do to get there on our own. Jesus has already paid for it and wants us to accept the invitation. What could be more exciting and give us more hope than to know that after this life, which can be so full of struggle and hardship, we will be heading to a destination where there’s no more suffering and we can live forever in a new world.
1 Corinthians 4 sums it up perfectly…
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Wherever you are in your relationship with God and your understanding of the Bible, I encourage you to spend some time this exploring the best “travel guide” you will ever find about your life journey. It really is life changing to know where you are going when you die. It will happen to us all, but that is no reason to be depressed because there is a promise of the most incredible final destination. Having this to look forward to gives us hope and a reason to live life to the full!