THINKING ABOUT THE "HEREAFTER"
by Mike Johnson
A man once asked, "Do you ever think about the hereafter?" He thought a few seconds and said, "I go in a room in order to get something, but once I get there I can't remember what I went to get. So I think, 'what am I here after?'"
The man did not answer the question in the sense that it was asked. The term "hereafter" was used to refer to life, or our state, after death. This is something that we really do need to think about. We need to consider where we will be in eternity.
Jesus gave an example in one of his parables of a person who thought only about this life. In Luke 12, He spoke of a certain rich man who had prospered a great deal. The rich man finally ran out of room to store his harvest. He decided that he would pull down his barns and build greater barns. Then he said, " . . . Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" This man only thought of this life and did not think of the hereafter.
People need to consider that there is eternal reward and an eternal punishment that awaits mankind. In Matthew 25:46, Jesus described the fate of the wicked and the righteous. He said, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
We do need to think about the hereafter. However, it is not enough just to think about it--we need to obey God. We will be judged based upon what we do while upon this earth (II Cor. 5:10, Rom. 2:6). It is essential to become a Christian and then to remain faithful in our service to God.
[Editors Note: Thanks to Mike Johnson for the article! Mike can be reached at: Mike Johnson, 2137 Penhall Drive NE, Huntsville, AL 35811, firstname.lastname@example.org]
Email the Editor at email@example.com
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