When man considers the fact that he has an eternal soul that will continue on after this brief physical life on earth comes to an end, he then naturally has a few questions that he might ask himself and others. The fact is, often those very questions that one might begin to ask have already been answered by the God in heaven who created man and placed him in this material setting. We wish to give consideration to a few questions that one who comes to realize that there is life after death just might begin to ask and then present the answer that God has already given.
The first question that one might ask at this point is; am I accountable to God who created me? The answer to this question is; yes you are. The writer of the book of Hebrews stated, “And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). The apostle Paul wrote, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Cor. 5:10). Jesus said, “Marvell not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28-29),
The next thing that might pop into our thoughts from here is, what will determine if I am pleasing to God or not? First, in answer to this question we need to define a little three letter word. The word is “sin”. Sin is any transgress of God’s commands (I John 3:4). Now, the reason we needed to define that word is that because that is what separates one from God. The prophet Isaiah stated, “…your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:2).
Ezekiel stated, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:20). The commands that must be adhered to in order to be in the proper relationship with God is dependent upon when in the history of man the person who is asking is currently living. If it was prior to the death of Christ on the cross, one would look to the old Law of Moses, but in this the Christian age; one must look to the gospel of Christ. The Hebrew writer stated, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:1-2).
The apostle Paul used an illustration of how a woman’s husband dying released her from the bond of marriage to him, freeing her to remarry (Rom. 7:1-3) and then made application of that to the ending of the old Law of Moses and the beginning of the gospel of Christ. He stated, “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Rom. 7:4). In short, one’s obedience or lack thereof to the gospel of Christ is the determining factor as to whether one is pleasing to God or not.
One might begin to ask at this point, “Is God really going to be that strict?” The answer to this query has long ago been given by God. Man has a tendency to call one narrow-minded that will not compromise the truth, but if this makes one narrow-minded, then God is narrow-minded. Paul’s correspondence to the Galatians included, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-9). God said what He meant and He meant what He said. He allows no addition, no subtraction nor any substitution of His word. Jesus asked a rhetorical question; “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
So if all this be true, and I realize I have sinned and that the end result of this is eternal damnation, “Is there no hope for me?” The answer to this question is; certainly there is hope for every person still living and able to understand and obey God. As Paul told Timothy, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (I Tim. 2:3-4). Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Pet. 3:9).
There are no doubt many more questions that these truths might raise, but they too are answered for us in the word of God, if we will but study to show ourselves approved unto God (II Tim. 2:15). The question to ask now is; “What do I need to do?”